Sea Grant’s COVID-19-inspired #BEachSAFEly Wins Second “Public Awareness Campaign” Award
COVID-19: NYSG's Rapid Response Support for its Coastal Stakeholders - Press Release

National APEX Award Comes After Fair Media Council Award's Folio Award, a Regional Prize Bestowed to Sea Grant in April


Paul C. Focazio, Communications Manager, New York Sea Grant, E:, P: (631) 632-6910

Kathleen Fallon, Coastal Processes & Hazards Specialist, New York Sea Grant, E:, P: 631-632-8730

Thomas Herrington, Coastal Community Resilience Specialist, New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium, E:, P: 732-263-5588

Stony Brook, NY, July 14, 2021 - Sea Grant's COVID-19-inspired "#BEachSAFEly" campaign ( has received a 2021 APEX Award of Publications Excellence in the category of "COVID-19 Media-Social Media."

This national award comes less than three months after #BEachSAFEly was bestowed a Folio Award from the Fair Media Council (FMC) for best "Social Media Public Awareness Campaign", a regional honor.

Some of the nine bilingual (available in English and Spanish) illustrated scenes developed by the New York and New Jersey Sea Grant programs for summer 2021’s #BEachSAFEly campaign, which, like its previous season in 2020, provided beachgoers with tips to help keep them safe when enjoying the sand and surf. See more at Image credit: Joel Davenport | New York & New Jersey Sea Grant Programs

More Info: #BEachSAFEly Campaign

In the summer of 2020, at the height of the pandemic, as well as the middle of beach season, New York Sea Grant and the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium (NYSG and NJSGC respectively) developed and implemented #BEachSAFEly, a nine week social media campaign supported by a COVID-19 Rapid Response grant from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s National Sea Grant College Program.

This past May, the social media campaign returned for a second season in which the Sea Grant programs have further extended its messages.

As was the case last summer, the visuals not only focus on standard “ocean hazards” tips such as “Break the Grip of the Rip,” but also incorporate general safety and health concerns related to COVID-19.  Other messages included: "Stay social, be distant"; "Don’t let your mask become marine debris!"; “Stay dry when waves are high”; and "Grab your sunscreen and sanitizer," among others. 

However, this year's images have been adjusted to account for changes in outdoor guidance related to the COVID-19 pandemic from the CDC as well as New York and New Jersey. Additionally, 2021's visuals — postcards and a poster — are being made available to local beach venues and other community organizations.

Beginning early next month, the programs will start revealing slices from its new poster, “9 Tips to Help You #BEachSAFEly” on Instagram,, where it will be completed in late August and then also debut on Facebook,, as well as Twitter,  

More Info: 2021 APEX Awards 

APEX 2021 is the thirty-third annual awards program in a series that recognizes excellence in publishing by professional communicators (corporate and nonprofit publishers, editors, writers and designers who create print, web, electronic and social media).

The APEX Awards are based on excellence in graphic design, editorial content, and the ability to achieve overall communications excellence. APEX Grand Awards honor the outstanding works in each main category, while APEX Awards of Excellence recognize exceptional entries in each of the individual sub-categories.

As Ken Turtoro, APEX Senior Judge and Communications Concepts, Inc. Executive Editor, said: "With nearly 1,200 entries, competition, as always, was exceptionally intense." 100 Grand Awards were presented to honor outstanding work in 13 major categories, with 471 Awards of Excellence recognizing exceptional entries in 100 sub-categories.

Turtoro joined a panel of judges for APEX 2021 that included: John De Lellis, Concepts Editor & Publisher; Christine Turner, Contributing Editor of the Writing That Works Archives; and Bill Londino, Consulting Editor of Writer's Web Watch.

More Info: New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium

New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium is an affiliation of colleges, universities and other groups dedicated to advancing knowledge and stewardship of the Garden State’s marine and coastal environment. NJSGC meets its mission through innovative research, education and extension programs.

Founded in 1969 as the New Jersey Marine Sciences Consortium, the organization has contributed leading research in the field of marine and environmental science. Since 1976 it has managed the New Jersey Sea Grant Program, part of a national effort that funds competitive research focusing on specific priority areas. In recognition of its academic and scientific achievements, the Consortium was awarded Sea Grant College status in 1989 and currently functions as a non-profit.

NJSGC provides equal opportunity for all New Jersey students and citizens to learn about the marine environment. Diverse, interactive, age-appropriate curricula ranges from pre-K through graduate level studies. Nearly 30,000 participants – students and their families, teachers, Scouts and the general public – take part annually in annual education programs and special events.

For more than 50 years, the Consortium has served the state and the region by developing programs designed to resolve coastal issues, develop marine technology, formulate science-based policy, and improve science literacy among its citizens.

The public can connect with New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium through its website; via it's newsletter COASTodian@njseagrant on Facebook and @NJSeaGrant on Twitter.

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: has RSS, FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube links. NYSG offers a free e-list sign up via for its flagship publication, NY Coastlines/Currents, which is published quarterly.

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