On YouTube: Nassau County Youths Learn About Marine Wildlife and Ecology
Publications: Success Stories - Extension (2019)

A NYSG partnership is rebuilding a camp program to educate Nassau County youths about marine resources and ecology


Antoinette Clemetson, NYSG Marine Fisheries Specialist, P: 631-632-8730, E: aoc5@cornell.edu

Stony Brook, NY, March 4, 2019 - Youths in Nassau County live in urban coastal communities where their access to programs featuring “hands on” interaction with nature is limited for various reasons, especially affordability. There are organizations that address low income households and minority communities that traditionally do not visit the coast or participate in outdoor activities that are synonymous with a coastal lifestyle.

In 2018, a partnership involving New York Sea Grant (NYSG) and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Nassau County (CCE-NC) was established to provide access to marine mini day camp classes for youths in low income, minority communities and in social programs in Nassau County. The partnership followed a NYSG-developed model that has been successfully conducted with youths in Suffolk County.

NYSG and CCE-NC engaged the Town of Hempstead and New York State Parks to accommodate classes. Delivering this marine-focused youth educational opportunity helped to sustain organizations involved with youth and other family services in Nassau County.

This project also helped CCE-NC to rebuild the marine education programming for Nassau County constituencies in ways to ensure educational enrichment.

Some 170 students from eight family and youth services participated in marine mini day camp in the summer of 2018. Several students and their counselors experienced marine-related resources for the first time.

This marine mini day camp program helped to rebuild relations between CCE-NC and Nassau County constituencies. More importantly, camp was the only occasion for these youths to have a beach day during their summer break.

As an added bonus, the students were immersed in marine coastal wildlife and ecology through art and other field activities, and exposed to another career option to build STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education.


• Cornell Cooperative Extension of Nassau County
• Town of Hempstead Nature Study Area
• Theodore Roosevelt Learning Center, Jones Beach State Park
• US Coast Guard Station Jones Beach

Three marine day campers enjoy time at Jones Beach. Credit: CCE-NC, Gregory Sandor.

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 33 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, 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. Our program also produces an occasional e-newsletter,"NOAA Sea Grant's Social Media Review," via its blog, www.nyseagrant.org/blog.

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