NYSG at 50: New York Sea Grant Through The Years — Extension
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Healthy Coastal Ecosystems

• NYSG’s watercraft inspection efforts empowered the public with how-to information on the removal of invasive species from various types of watercraft. Hundreds of watercraft inspection stewards, mainly college students, worked at boat launches throughout NY, encouraging recreational boaters to clean, drain and dry their watercraft before and after launch to prevent the spread of invasive species. The result of this ground-breaking program included a handbook, videos and webinars enabling communities to start or manage their own watercraft inspection programs.

• Nitrogen pollution has become a serious, recurring problem. In 2020, NYSG and Suffolk County Department of Health Services made available a “Suspicious Marine Harmful Algal Blooms” online reporting form, which complements NYS Department of Environmental Conservation reporting in NY’s Great Lakes waters.

Sustainable NY Fisheries, Aquaculture and Seafood Businesses

• Soon after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration began requiring processors of fish and fishery products to develop and implement a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point or HACCP system to ensure the safety of seafood that consumers buy, NYSG became a leader in developing HACCP programs for seafood processors and business owners. NYSG worked with the world renowned Fulton Fish Market as well as seafood businesses to comply with HACCP requirements for storing and transporting finfish and shellfish at proper temperatures.

• NY’s Seafood Summit has become an annual convening of enthusiastic professionals with vested interest in seafood — fishermen, seafood businesses, industry, and other seafood stakeholders — to build active communications between various sectors of NY’s seafood industry. Each year the organizers highlight some of NY’s bountiful seafood supply and introduce participants to the versatile seafood available locally.

• Aquaculture, the cultivation of finfish, shellfish, and aquatic plants, is an important and growing industry in NY. Aquaculture creates jobs and revenue for NY, which has a large market for aquacultured products. Sea Grant coordinated a series of “Meet Your Oyster Farmer” events which highlighted Long Island’s oyster industry. Sea Grant has been working to assist aquaculturists in the cultivation of sugar kelp, a native species and viable marketable product that can be cultivated in the winter months.

• Trawling the bottom of the Great Lakes is widely used to provide fish abundance and behavior information to the managers of the $4 Billion Great Lakes fisheries. NYSG extension developed and held several International Trawl Design Workshops for biologists, managers and trawl vessel personnel. Attendees learned about trawl design parameters including ways to reduce mussel clogging and the use of sensing gear and underwater cameras to evaluate trawl performance.

Resilient Communities and Economies

• NYSG extension professionals have long helped coastal property owners by suggesting techniques to protect property from rising water levels in the Great Lakes. Using emerging technologies like drones and GIS, Sea Grant specialists can assess and customize the most economically sound and efficient way to protect property from flooding.

• For decades, NYSG has shared the benefits and challenges of using vegetation and other nature-based features and techniques as an alternative to hard coastal structures such as bulkheads to fight coastal erosion, climate change and severe storms. NYSG has developed story maps of flooding, conducted workshops, and provided information for testimony at hearings that empower and guide property owners as they mitigate the effects of climate change.

More Info: New York Sea Grant

New York Sea Grant (NYSG), a cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York (SUNY), is one of 34 university-based programs under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Sea Grant College Program.

Since 1971, NYSG has represented a statewide network of integrated research, education and extension services promoting coastal community economic vitality, environmental sustainability and citizen awareness and understanding about the State’s marine and Great Lakes resources.

Through NYSG’s efforts, the combined talents of university scientists and extension specialists help develop and transfer science-based information to many coastal user groups—businesses and industries, federal, state and local government decision-makers and agency managers, educators, the media and the interested public.

The program maintains Great Lakes offices at Cornell University, SUNY Buffalo, SUNY Oswego and the Wayne County Cooperative Extension office in Newark. In the State's marine waters, NYSG has offices at Stony Brook University in Long Island, Brooklyn College and Cornell Cooperative Extension in NYC and Kingston in the Hudson Valley.

For updates on Sea Grant activities: www.nyseagrant.org has RSS, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube links. NYSG offers a free e-list sign up via www.nyseagrant.org/nycoastlines for its flagship publication, NY Coastlines/Currents, which is published quarterly.

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