Image by Mike Patricio

Peconic Bay Scallop

CCE Marine Digital Education header new

See our new Digital Education page!

horseshoe crab

Horseshoe Crab Monitoring Network

Image by Kimberly Manzo

Oysters are one of the species of shellfish raised by CCE's Aquaculture Program.

eelgrass restoration
Image by Kimberly Manzo

Eelgrass Restoration

Lady crab in a Peconic Estuary eelgrass meadow.
Image by Kimberly Manzo

A lady crab protects her clutch in a Peconic Estuary eelgrass meadow.

cedar beach seining

Youth Education - Seining at Cedar Beach, Southold

stormwater water quality

Stormwater/Water Quality

fisheries trawler


Winter flounder in a Long Island Sound eelgrass meadow.

A winter flounder swims through a Long Island Sound eelgrass meadow.

Atlantic silversides.
Image by Christopher Pickerell

Atlantic silversides are important prey items for larger predatory fish and shorebirds.



Is it safe to say many of you are looking forward to saying goodbye to 2020? We are, too! To end the year on a positive note, we would like countdown some really GOOD things that happened this year. Sure, there were challenges, pivots, and setbacks but there was also resilience, generosity, and innovation at play as we worked harder than ever to fulfill our mission this year! 

Good Thing #20

So let’s kick things off with #20: We hosted safe, socially distant Marine Meadows Workshops at Tiana Bayside Facility, SCMELC, and Cowfish Hampton Bays.Our volunteers collectively wove 1000+ eelgrass “tortillas,” which enabled staff divers to plant 10,000 individual eelgrass plants in our bays! Thanks to grants from the Town of Brookhaven and NFWF as well as funds generated from Greenport Shellabration, plantings have taken place in Greenport, Sag Harbor, Bellport, Shinnecock and Moriches. Learn more in our stories.


Good Thing #19

We were still able to reach our communities with virtual programming and did a quick pivot and curriculum overhaul at the start of the pandemic to figure out how to deliver the most interactive and fun programming possible via Zoom! Working with local libraries and directly with local families, our educators brought some smiles and STEM/STEAM education to youth, and adults throughout Suffolk County. Thank you to all who booked and participated in these programs this year.
Good Thing #18

We were able to expand our efforts to integrate the arts into our science-based programming and outreach efforts! This year we worked with talented local artist (and our very own resident Art + Science Educator) Carolyn Munaco who lead the most extensive STEAM based educational initiative we’ve rolled out yet—Carolyn put out 48 marine themed art projects with instruction as part of our Digital Education Initiative; illustrated 80 local species for inclusion in our field guides and education kit materials; adapted her popular ArtSEA programs to a virtual format; and was key to the launch of our Back to the Bays Marketplace!


Good Thing #17

Each year we typically reach tens of thousands of students through our in person classroom programs, field trips to our facilities, and our 5 summer camps across Suffolk County. In order to keep marine science and stewardship based programming available and accessible to our youth in this difficult time we launched our CCE Marine Digital Education Initiative! Go to to access free curriculum, and learning guides for pre-K-12 students. 

Good Thing #16

Our scientists and field technicians were able to conduct limited horseshoe crab monitoring and tagging efforts at select long term sentinel monitoring sites throughout Long Island this year. While we were not able to involve the hundreds of volunteers that we typically help coordinate as part of the NYS Horseshoe Crab Monitoring Network, our staff members were still able to collect important data in support of our horseshoe crab population!


Good Thing #15

We installed a new oyster reef at Gurney’s Star Island Marina! Approximately 100,000 spat-on-shell oysters were produced at our SCMELC facility hatchery and delivered on a beautiful July day for deployment in Lake Montauk. Thanks to our partnership with @gurneysresorts and support from the community and @preservemontauk , we will be able to continue efforts next year through 2030 to build a spat-on-shell reef 1million oysters strong. 

Good Thing #14

We worked with Josephs Design on a major rebrand and marketing project for CCE Marine Program, including the creation of logos and icons for all of our main program areas and stewardship initiatives: Back to the Bays, Digital Education, SPAT, Seahorse Conservation, ArtSea, Scouts for the Bays, and so many more! The Marine Program now has a more cohesive look with beautiful, modern branding that will take us into 2021 with style! 

Good Thing #13

Our bay scallop restoration program had one of its best years ever cultivating scallops.

Learn more here


Good Thing #12

We were able to continue to provide outreach to the community about choosing local fish and supporting local fish markets. Thank you to @southoldfishmarket @masticseafood @clawsfishmarket and @easthamptonfarmersmarket for hosting our outreach stations this year, it was great to safely interact with our local communities and spread the word about the importance of supporting local, sustainable seafood.  

Good Thing #11

We collected over 20 liters of Spartina alterniflora seeds that will be processed this winter in support of our 2021 habitat restoration goals. The plant material we grow from our annual seed collection every fall is utilized in the various coastal resiliency projects we have planned for the upcoming year.


Good Thing #10

We were able to continue our SPAT Program efforts, while keeping health and safety a top priority! Learn more here.

Good Thing #9

Our Western Suffolk Water Quality Team continued their 4th year of monitoring in support of the Unified Water Study. Learn more here.


Good Thing #8

With our Agricultural Stewardship Program, we worked to evaluate if locally grown sugar kelp can remove nutrients from LI waterbodies, and then be processed into fertilizer for crops. Learn more here.

Good Thing #7

We were able to continue in-person programming at some of our marine sites including the Sport Fishing Education Center in Babylon. Learn more here.


Good Thing #6

We were able to successfully spawn and grow out millions of oysters, clams and bay scallops in support of population enhancement and shellfish restoration projects, while keeping our staff safe. Learn more here.

Good Thing #5

We partnered with Lazy Point Farms and Moore Family Foundation to produce kelp seed strings in support of kelp aquaculture expansion efforts! Learn more here.


Good Thing #4

We selected our 2021 Back to the Bays featured artist! We’re proud to announce Marisa Bottari of Elementology Designs will be creating the artwork that will be featured on our 2021 Membership decals, outreach materials and apparel!

Learn more here.

Good Thing #3

Our Fisheries Team had the opportunity to partner with Culinary Nutritionist Stefanie Sacks on a project focused on presenting easy and delicious ways to prepare local seafood at home as part of their F.I.S.H. Initiative. Learn more here.


Good Thing #2

We launched a new marketplace featuring marine themed home goods, apparel, jewelry, education kits, art prints, and more!
Learn more here.

Good Thing #1

We successfully pivoted our annual Greenport Shellabration to a virtual event featuring at-home shucking tutorials, cooking demonstrations, and special appearances from the CCE Marine Team! Learn more here.



A Special Message from CCE Marine

In these uncertain times we want you to know that CCE Marine Program is here for you and we’re excited to announce our new  Digital Education Initiative


Our waters are an integral part of life for us, making Long Island a desirable place to live. The Marine Program, which became part of CCE in 1985, is known and respected nationally and internationally. Its mission is to protect our waters, providing a clean environment for our fish, fowl and plants.

Our researchers and educators are busy working to inform Long Islanders how we can each do our part to safeguard our environment. Projects have been designed to bring back our once thriving eelgrass and shell fish populations, ensure our commercial fishing industry continues to thrive while limiting bycatch, provide public education about environmental consequences of storm water runoff, and introduce our young people to marine sciences and marine life on Long Island.


Darci Bielenda
Marine Program Sr. Administrative Assistant SCMELC
631-852-8660 x 21

Last updated April 5, 2021