Publications: New York Coastlines, Spring 2009

NYSG’s Spring 2009 New York Coastlines is available as a pdf, both in its full, 12-page version (see sidebar at right) and as individual articles. For individual articles and back issues of New York Coastlines, click here

From the Director

This is my first “From the Director” column for New York Coastlines as the new Director of New York Sea Grant (NYSG). It has been a very busy six months for the program with numerous state and federal budget issues, meetings of the Program Advisory Council, the Board of Governors, and the NYSG statewide staff. At the behest of the national office, we are currently deep into the process of developing our new strategic and implementation plans for the next five years, as are all the 32 Sea Grant Programs. Though we have already requested and received input from many of our stakeholders, it is never too late to send me an email about your thoughts on these plans (

There have also been some important personnel transitions in the program, particularly the retirement of Dale Baker, our Associate Director, who retired at the start of 2009. Dale directed our extension program from our NYSG office at Cornell University in Ithaca, and had served NYSG for 15 years and within the Sea Grant network for an amazing 36 years. Among other issues, Dale was active in extension efforts on both aquaculture and climate change and will be missed (see article in Fall 2008 Coastlines).

Since Dale’s retirement, Robert Kent has served ably as Interim Associate Director. Though located in Riverhead on Long Island, Bob has been making periodic visits to Ithaca. We will soon be starting a search for Dale’s permanent replacement, please stay tuned. Additionally, Dr. James MacDonald recently joined NYSG as a Recreational Fisheries Specialist for the popular I FISH NY Program in New York City.

However, the most important recent happenings at NYSG are the research, education, and outreach activities detailed in this issue of New York Coastlines. We have recently committed over $4.46 M for research from both our regular biennial grant competition for New York coastal projects (14 projects, click here), as well as an additional special competition for projects focused on Long Island Sound (LIS, 5 projects, click here). The LIS projects are managed jointly with Connecticut Sea Grant with funding support from the US Environmental Protection Agency’s LIS Study. We also recently conducted a meeting of the LIS project investigators which should facilitate scientific and logistical collaboration.
Sea Grant Scholars, graduate students especially recognized as integral to our sponsored research projects, have long been an important part of our research and education efforts. In additional to supporting them as part of the research projects, we track their progress during and after the project. A profile of several of our past Sea Grant Scholars (click here) includes NYSG’s own Dave MacNeill, who describes some of his own current fisheries extension activities in the Great Lakes. 

Our recent “Return Unwanted Medicine” event was an overwhelming local success and has generated great interest for holding similar events in other communities (click here). It represents the best in collaborative outreach among NYSG, various parts of Stony Brook University including the Medical Center, and local legislators. Additional outreach and research efforts concerning stormwater (click here) and groundwater (click here) inputs to Long Island estuaries, as well sport fishing (click here).
Finally, I want to highlight the publication of the hard clam report, a major synthesis of NYSG’s Hard Clam Research Initiative (click here) and an important contribution to the available knowledge. In closing, the period since I became Director of NYSG on October 15, 2008 has been one of continuous activity with much more yet to come.

– James Ammerman

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