Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Give Back to the Bays This Holiday Season

December 1, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

 

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When the holiday season is upon us, you may wonder what to get that special boater or water-lover on your list. If you’re seeking a meaningful gift that gives back to Long Island’s bays, the Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) Marine Program has you covered!

The first opportunity involves a lot of tasty fun for you along with shopping for a cause as you “Shellabrate” in Greenport on the first weekend of December. This year marks the Marine Program’s Fifth Annual Shellabration, a culinary walk through the idyllic maritime Village of Greenport. You’ll enjoy some of the best local seafood and craft beer and wine pairings presented by top chefs from over 20 of Greenport’s restaurants and do some serious holiday shopping at great shops in the village! Proceeds from your Shellabration adventure will directly support the shellfish and habitat restoration work being conducted by the Back to the Bays Initiative and SPAT Program (Suffolk Project in Aquaculture Training). Visit http://shellabration.li/ for information on how to purchase a wristband granting you access to the restaurant walk plus shopping discounts from merchants who have signed on to donate a percentage of money from purchases to CCE Marine Program during Shellabration weekend.

greenport-shellabration-1Whether or not you make it out to Greenport during Shellabration, there are still ways to do more, including an “Aquaculture Adoption” that directly supports the important work that happens in our shellfish hatcheries. We produce millions of animals each year and the funds help increase the amount of shellfish we put back into our bays through our oyster, clam, and scallop population enhancement efforts. Shellfish cultivated in our hatcheries ultimately get released into Long Island’s bays, where they perform their important job as filter feeders, helping to improve water quality — something every boater, paddler, and beachcomber appreciates! The custom illustrated box of notecards designed by local artist Carolyn Munaco, included with each aquaculture adoption gift certificate, makes for a truly lovely gift; visit http://ccesuffolk.org/marine  for more information.

bay-to-bays-gift-cardsA contribution in honor of a loved one is another special way to support our marine environment. Giving to the Suffolk County Marine Environmental Learning Center Facility Improvement Campaign funds upgrades to our classroom, touch tank room, water quality lab, coastal plant greenhouse, and shellfish hatchery housed at our center in Southold, the main base of operations of CCE Marine Program. At this facility, we educate thousands of students through science-based youth education programs and camps; conduct important water quality analysis in support of clean water initiatives; and cultivate an impressive amount of shellfish and native coastal plants for our large-scale restoration projects. Donations help ensure the continuation and expansion of our efforts — any level of donation is welcomed and appreciated, and tax-deductible contributions of $100.00 or more entitle your name or that of someone you choose to be engraved onto one of the plaques on our marine inspired donor wall for all to see! This crowd-funding campaign is in partnership with the Education Foundation for Suffolk Extension and California Closets, and will be in effect through the end of the year. Please visit http://goodcircle.org/project/wonders-never-cease/ for more information.

Best wishes for a happy holiday season!

The author is Marine Program Outreach Manager for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County

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By Kimberly Barbour

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is the Habitat Restoration Outreach Specialist for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County’s Marine Program. She has over a decade of experience in management of local coastal and marine issues. She resides in Hampton Bays with her husband, daughter, and dog.

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