ITHACA, NY – New York Sea Grant has issued a series of impact statements for eight of its projects conducted in the Great Lakes region of New York in 2014. The projects primarily focused on work to support resilient communities and economies and healthy New York coastal ecosystems and habitats.
The projects profiled include:
New work to help NY Great Lakes communities increase understanding of climate science and preparedness for associated emergency response, ecosystem impact, and infrastructure and human health issues: A workshop in the Sodus Bay watershed alerted local leaders to climate change projections for NY Great Lakes communities, weather trends for Wayne County, and tools available to assess needs, barriers and opportunities for building resiliency in 2015.
Educational outreach to prompt stakeholder action to reduce the chemical threat associated with pharmaceuticals and personal care products, known as PPCPs, and the microplastics used as scrubbing agents or exfoliants in personal care products: This project is an offshoot of an award-winning collaboration by New York Sea Grant and three other Great Lakes region Sea Grant programs that developed educational outreach on the impacts of PPCPs on water quality. In 2014, state legislators responded with the introduction of legislation to ban the sale of products containing microplastics.
Teach-the-teacher training that supports New York coastal water quality interests by engaging and educating students as future Great Lakes citizens: In 2014, 109 teachers working with more than 11,000 elementary to high school students participated in New York Sea Grant-led workshops focused on Great Lakes watersheds, the Buffalo River, Lake Ontario, and Lake Erie. One workshop participant, teacher Amanda Jasper, and her students at the Global Concepts Charter School in Lackawanna later produced a YouTube public service announcement about environmental restoration happening locally.
Development of a Dogs and HABs educational brochure on the danger of harmful algal blooms, known as HABs, to canines and humans: In recent years HABs have caused increased dog deaths in many freshwater regions of the U.S. New York Sea Grant in partnership with the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine developed a list of the symptoms of HAB poisoning and steps to take if a dog is exposed. A special training session was held at the 2014 New York State Veterinary Conference at Cornell.
International-audience conference to identify research needs for developing American eel production for food and wild stocking: eel are a high-priced commodity, worth up to $5,000 per lb. in Asian markets: New York Sea Grant in partnership with Cornell University, Maine Sea Grant and the University of New England formed a Northeast Aquaculture Team to examine means for protecting and enhancing declining American eel populations both for biodiversity and enterprise.
Development of the Signature Exhibit for 2014 Great New York State Fair: New York Sea Grant worked with multiple partners to develop a showcase exhibit highlighting the underwater recreational and tourism treasures represented by historic shipwrecks in New York waters from Great Lakes Ontario and Erie to the Finger Lakes, Lake George, Lake Champlain and the St. Lawrence River. The exhibit was adapted for travel in 2015.
Extending the award-winning Discover Clean and Safe Boating campaign to New York 1st Responders: Since its inception in 2008, the campaign, developed by New York Sea Grant in partnership with the Boating Industries Association of Upstate New York, has educated more than half-a-million boaters about how to be legal, safe and environmentally-friend on NY waters. In 2014, the campaign partnered with the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and Oswego County Office of Emergency Management to conduct cold water rescue training for 1st responders. The City of Oswego Fire Department sent a letter noting that two of its Firefighter-Paramedics applied the training to save a life in February 2014.
Tracking the career success now enjoyed by former New York Sea Grant dune, river, and launch stewards: Working with New York Sea Grant provided an environmental science workforce and career development incubator for college students who are now employed with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, U.S. Geological Survey, Washington State University Extension, Bristol Myers Squibb, and other agencies, organizations, and industry.
The project profiles complete with partners and funding sources are online at http://www.nyseagrant.org/successstories.
Through its statewide network of integrated services, NYSG has been promoting coastal vitality, environmental sustainability, and citizen awareness about the State’s marine and Great Lakes resources since 1971. For updates on New York Sea Grant activities, www.nyseagrant.org has RSS, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube links.