NYSG Expands Long Island Sound Study Outreach Programs in New York City / Western Basin
Long Island Sound Study - Press Release

NYSG's Long Island Sound Study Outreach Coordinator Lillit Genovesi (center, holding "NYSG at 50" sign) and a group of children at the Edith G. Read Wildlife Sanctuary in Rye, NY. Credit: Ludmilar Mesidor / Long Island Sound Study.

New York Sea Grant /Long Island Sound Study outreach partnership spans over 30 years


Lillit (Lilli) Genovesi, Long Island Sound Outreach Coordinator, NYC, E: Lillit.Genovesi@Cornell.edu

Robert Burg, Communications Coordinator, Long Island Sound Study, E: rburg@longislandsoundstudy.net

Paul C. Focazio, Communications Manager, New York Sea Grant, E: Paul.Focazio@stonybrook.edu, P: 631-632-6910

QUEENS, NY, December 7, 2021 — New York Sea Grant (NYSG) has provided outreach and education on coastal issues in New York City and Westchester for decades, but never with a position fully dedicated in those areas to Long Island Sound. That changed last month, driven by the need to address resiliency due to the impacts from climate change and expand community involvement and education.  Through the Long Island Sound Study (LISS) partnership, NYSG has expanded its outreach programs by hiring Lillit Genovesi as Outreach Coordinator for communities along Long Island Sound in New York City and Westchester County. This compliments a LISS Outreach position based in Long Island since the 1980s that focuses more on Nassau and Suffolk Counties.  

This new position will be based in Queens and secured as a partnership with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

Besides drawing attention to the efforts to ensure a resilient coastline and ecosystem due to the  impacts of climate change in New York City, Westchester, the outreach coordinator also will be focused on two other important LISS principles — long-term sustainability and environmental justice. In addition, Genovesi will engage New Yorkers in LISS activities and efforts, including working with local community groups to develop habitat loss and pollution remediation solutions in the estuary.

“Addressing climate change, environmental justice and stormwater challenges through outreach is of utmost importance in NYC and Westchester county if we are going to support these communities and the health of the Sound,” said Katherine Bunting-Howarth, Associate Director of NYSG and Assistant Director, Cornell Cooperative Extension . “We’re thrilled that Lilli has joined the team and we are confident that she will support and grow the knowledge of residents about the benefits of a healthy Long Island Sound while empowering these communities to improve their local environment”.

“Our goal is to support and empower people in communities all around the Sound with the tools and knowledge to be environmental stewards of Long Island Sound.” said Mark Tedesco, Director of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Long Island Sound Office. “We are proud to partner with NYSG to increase the engagement and knowledge of residents in the far western portions of Long Island Sound.”

Before joining NYSG, Genovesi spent a combined 13 years with Trout Unlimited (TU), where she managed the statewide Trout in the Classroom program alongside the DEP and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Prior to TU, Genovesi lived in Los Angeles and conducted outreach for the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles.

"I am excited to have joined the talented team at LISS and Sea Grant and look forward to serving in this important role that will help all New Yorkers, living in and around the Western basin of the Long Island Sound, appreciate this amazing resource," said Genovesi. "Working together with our partners, local community groups, and individuals gives us the opportunity to envision a bright future for the people and places along our coasts.”

More Info: Long Island Sound Study

Long Island Sound is one of the 28 nationally designated estuaries under the National Estuary Program (NEP), which was established by Congress in 1987 to improve the quality of Long Island Sound and other places where rivers meet the sea. 

The Long Island Sound Study is a cooperative effort involving researchers, regulators, user groups and other concerned organizations and individuals, and is led by the Environmental Protection Agency and the states of New York and Connecticut. 

In recent years, LISS has experienced a period of rapid expansion attributed to the increased federal funding for the program, and to implement actions, objectives, and goals established under a Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan. The increase is grounded in the CCMP’s four overarching themes: Clean Waters and Healthy Watersheds, Thriving Habitats and Abundant Wildlife, Sustainable and Resilient Communities, and Sound Science and Inclusive Management.  Resilience to climate change, long-term sustainability, and environmental justice, are principles that connect to all four of the themes.

For more on what you can do to make a difference, click over to the "Get Involved" or "Stewardship" sections of the Long Island Sound Study's website. News on the Long Island Sound Study can also be found in New York Sea Grant's related archives.

If you would like to receive Long Island Sound Study's newsletter, please visit their site's homepage and sign up for the "e-news/print newsletter" under the "Stay Connected" box.

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, University at 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 and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Nassau County on Long Island; at Brooklyn College, with New York City Department of Environmental Protection in Queens and at Cornell Cooperative Extension in NYC and Elmsford 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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