In Photos: New York Sea Grant, Long Island Sound Study Celebrate Inaugural Long Island Estuary Day
Long Island Sound Study - News

Credit: Victoria O'Niell / NYSDEC.


Anna Weshner-Dunning, Outreach Coordinator, LISS, E: P: (631) 632-8730
Islip, NY December 7, 2018 – This year marked the 30th anniversary of National Estuary Week (NEW), established by the Environmental Protection Agency and celebrated by estuarial organizations all over the country. NEW is a nationwide celebration of our bays and estuaries and the many benefits they provide to local communities.

On September 15th Long Islanders gathered to kick off National Estuary Week and celebrate the inaugural Long Island Estuary Day put on by the Long Island Sound Study (LISS), Peconic Estuary Program, and the South Shore Estuary Reserve. The festivities began with a coastal cleanup, where participants helped pick up trash. In total, Estuary Day celebrants picked up 137 pounds of garbage during the morning beach cleanup.

Credit: Victoria O'Niell / NYSDEC.

The theme of this year’s Estuary Day was nitrogen pollution. Opening remarks from Joyce Novak, Enrico Nardone, and Jeremy Campbell, introduced participants to the nitrogen input to Long Island’s estuaries. Tabling events and lectures educated the public about what nitrogen is, and why nitrogen pollution is damaging to estuaries. Participants in Estuary Day had the opportunity to learn about their nitrogen footprint, and ways to get involved in reducing excess nitrogen from reaching Long Island’s estuaries.

Credit: Victoria O'Niell / NYSDEC.

Other activities included short videos and a question-answer session put on by The Nature Conservancy, an alternative onsite wastewater treatment demonstration, an organic lawn care lecture, and a wildlife photography nature hike and scavenger hunt for kids. Anna Weshner-Dunning, New York Sea Grant’s LISS’ Outreach Coordinator, led a “fish press” arts-and-crafts activity for kids. Young artists were provided with stamps depicting some of the Sound’s fish species, giving a hands-on introduction to the wildlife that are found in the Sound.

Estuary Day coincided with the Long Island Sound Study’s #DontTrashLISound social media campaign. Posts on LISS’ Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook pages focused on breaking the single-use plastic habit, sharing ways individuals can help reduce plastic use, such as using a reusable water bottle. LISS provided stickers for reusable water bottles and encouraged followers to post a picture with their reusable bottle. The campaign reached over 130,000 social media users across the three platforms.

Learn more about the campaign at Also, you can see what's trending with #DontTrashLISound via LISS's Media Center and follow the hashtags #DontTrashLISound (Facebook) or #LISound (Twitter). Credits: Long Island Sound Stucy; CT Sea Grant; Lucy Reading-Ikkanda.

Public engagement like Estuary Day is key for understanding and caring for Long Island Sound, which is bordered by New York and Connecticut, with rivers in both states providing more than 90% of the Sound’s fresh water. More than 23 million people live within 50 miles of Long Island Sound, but many of those people may not often think about the ecology of the Sound or their potential impact.

“We want to get people on the water and engaged in education programs so people can see firsthand what their environment looks like. When you go out and pick up pounds of trash and sift through the beach, it makes a big impact for the beach and the community,” said Weshner-Dunning.

Plans are underway for next year’s Estuary Day celebration in the Long Island Sound Watershed.

In Photos: More From the Inaugural Long Island Estuary Day
Credit: Victoria O'Niell / NYSDEC.

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: has RSS, Facebook, Twitter, 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,

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