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Guest Blog by Lane Rosen: NYSMEA helps bring attention to a coastal area in need

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Friday, June 19, 2015

Coney Island Creek has been a neglected body of water in Brooklyn, NY, for many years. Members of New York State Marine Education Association (NYSMEA) and Cultural Research Divers organized "It's My Estuary Day" to take place at Kaiser Park, on the banks of Coney Island Creek, on May 30. It was a celebratory community service event which brought awareness to the salt marsh estuary on both sides of the creek.

NYSMEA beach clean-up  

Over 300 K-12 students attended from eight local schools, along with politicians, scientists, and representatives from science organizations, diving and engineering companies, and colleges. Students involved with The Billion Oyster Project relocated oyster gardens to the park as part of an effort to restore New York Harbor with oyster reefs. Students learned how to monitor oyster growth and collect water chemistry data. They also used technology to gather weather and climate data.

NYSMEA kids with microscope

There was an organized coastal cleanup along the beach which removed over one ton of marine debris. Brooklyn College displayed a Jamaica Bay resiliency plan and a seaweed touch tank.

NYSMEA garbage cleaned up

Students and an engineering firm launched their underwater robots: Sea Perch ROVs and a professional ROV.

NYSMEA ROV testing

Students and educators seined for fish in a project identifying fish species called the Great Fish Count organized by Columbia University, which was coordinated in 13 sites around New York City on that day. Local scientists spoke on several current marine topics to an audience composed mainly of high school students.

NYSMEA seining

A collaboration of organizations called "Making Waves," which includes NYSMEA, is trying to bring a marine education barge featuring a marine science teaching lab and commercial dive training center to Kaiser Park. Overall, it was a great day with over 500 people in attendance, and it brought marine environmental awareness to the local community!

- Lane Rosen, NYSMEA President 

Tags:  NYSMEA 

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Guest Blog by Sarah Richards: NYSMEA focuses on "Coastal Treasures & Troubles" for 2014 annual conference

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Wednesday, December 10, 2014

New York State Marine Educators Association (NYSMEA) hosted its 36th annual conference in Brooklyn on October 25, 2014, with Rachel Carson High School for Coastal Studies and the New York Aquarium hosting the festivities. This year's theme was “Coastal Treasures & Troubles: Restoring, Managing, and Monitoring Our Resources," and over 106 people attended, including 23 students.

We were pleased to have two keynote speakers join us. Dr. Stephen Pekar, geologist and climate scientist at Queens College, spoke on "Looking back to our future: How studying past climate changes can show us the future of NYC’s coastal areas" in the morning, and Kate Orff, founder and director of the Urban Landscape Lab at Columbia University, presented on "Living Breakwaters" in the evening.Sean Russell, director of the Youth Ocean Conservation Summit, leading a workshop

There were a variety of workshops that participants could choose from. One workshop was led by four students from the New York Harbor School, who talked about The Billion Oyster Project and the school's aquaculture program. We were also delighted to have Sean Russell, director of the Youth Ocean Conservation Summit, lead a special workshop for all the students (and interested adults), during which he gave an introduction to the Summit and showed students ways to become active environmental stewards.NYSMEA 2014 Conference

Other highlights included:

  • Silent, live, and 50/50 auctions, which helped raise money for NYSMEA's treasury, and its scholarship program, in particular.
  • An awards ceremony, which honored a number of New Yorkers who have made significant contributions to the field of marine education.
  • A choice of four afternoon field trips.
  • A tour of "Glover's Reef" at the NY Aquarium led by Bob Cummings, followed by a buffet dinner, the live auction, and the evening speaker.

NYSMEA 2014 Conference 

Also, we would really like to send thanks to the Hudson River Foundation for contributing $500 to the conference, which allowed us to charge students just a nominal registration fee to attend. As a result, we had 23 students participate, from 13 different high schools and colleges!

- Sarah Richards, NMEA secretary, NYSMEA conference coordinator, and associate chair and teacher in the Science Department of Saint Ann's School in Brooklyn, NY

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NMEA Member Highlight: Sarah Richards

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Sarah RichardsSarah Richards is an associate chair and teacher in the Science Department of Saint Ann's School in Brooklyn, NY.

She is currently a member of the Executive Committee and secretary for NMEA and an active member of her local chapter, the New York State Marine Education Association (NYSMEA). 

We asked her four key questions about her experience with NMEA:

1. Why did you join NMEA? 
I joined NMEA in order to meet and network with other teachers, share curriculum ideas, and to be a better-informed marine science educator.

2. How has NMEA helped you achieve your professional goals? 
I have certainly met the three goals stated above!  Through attending the annual conferences, using Scuttlebutt, and being a member of the NMEA board, I have met so many wonderful people who are passionate about marine science and marine education.

3. What are you most proud of NMEA for accomplishing/influencing?
I am most proud of the work that NMEA has done with the ocean literacy principles - helping to write them, and having them be incorporated into the Next Generation Science Standards.

4. If you had to describe NMEA in three words, what would they be?
Stimulating, fun, essential.

Our Membership Drive is underway until June 8, so if you join now, you'll be eligible for raffle prizes from aquariums around the country and our grand prize, a GoPro camera! We'd love to have you join us! Find out more about membership in NMEA today >

Photo courtesy of Sarah Richards


Tags:  member highlight  membership  NYSMEA 

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Restore the Gulf with NYSMEA

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Sunday, January 12, 2014

Here's a great opportunity with our New York State Marine Education Association chapter! Head south with them next month and do some hands-on restoration work on the Gulf of Mexico!

When: Feb. 16-20

Where: Louisiana Gulf coast

Full details here >

They're trying to get an approximate headcount together, so please let them know ASAP if you might be interested!

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