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On YouTube: Engaging Youth in the Health and Fun of the Great Lakes
NY Great Lakes Basin Small Grants Program - News

By Brian Dwyer, Spectrum NY - Northern NY

What You Need To Know:

• New York Sea Grant is offering a pot of $200,000 for clubs, organizations or agencies who want to create a project for the Great Lakes Watershed

•  The projects can be crafted off of just about any idea, as long as it involves the watershed and research, its health, education and/or recreation

•  The project must also involve youth, as a way to inspire them to not only take pride in this project, but also future projects and plans

Syracuse, NY, April 19, 2021 - The North Country may not be the first place people think of when talking about sandy beaches and fun in the sun, but there are a number of hidden gems around and they’re ones that can certainly make you feel a thousand miles south, like Southwick Beach State Park.

It’s one of the spots on the Great Lakes Watershed that Dave White, as the recreational specialist for NY Sea Grant, has spent nearly 40 years of his life protecting and promoting by bringing science to the shores.

“Really helping the public understand how we can protect this resource for the future generations, but by using it today for our generations,” White said.

As part of that mission, NY Sea Grant is working with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to hand out $200,000 for area groups and agencies that want to take on a project that would improve the Great Lakes Watershed.

From shoreline projects or invasive species prevention to trail improvements or interactive education materials, any and all ideas are being considered.

“What would you put in it? What are the key species you would want to put in it? What are the key issues for that wetland or habitat area that impacts the Great Lakes?” White said.

There are really only two main requirements that agencies must consider when applying. Projects must involve the Great Lakes Watershed and they must involve youth.

The goal is to get youngsters to not only understand how to take care of the watershed and have fun on it, but through planning and implementing projects, feel a sense of pride that can carry on, perhaps find the next generation of Dave Whites.

“They are our future. They are the ones that are going to be replacing those of us who are getting gray behind the ear," White said. "We want to engage them so they really have that understanding but also so they’ll take ownership of the project."

White is hoping to hear from groups like the FFA, 4-H, and even schools and nonprofits to protect, yes, but again, to also have fun in that safe way.

Applications are due April 30 and can be found by visiting

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 in Long Island, Brooklyn College and Cornell Cooperative Extension in NYC and Elmsford and Kingston in the Hudson Valley.

For updates on Sea Grant activities: has RSS, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube links. NYSG offers a free e-list sign up via for its flagship publication, NY Coastlines/Currents, which is published quarterly. Our program also produces an occasional e-newsletter, "NOAA Sea Grant's Social Media Review," via its blog,

New York Sea Grant Home *  NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Home

This website was developed with funding from the Environmental Protection Fund, in support of the Ocean and Great Lakes Ecosystem Conservation Act of 2006. 

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