Create“Marine Meadows” with the CCE and the EH Trustees!

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Cornell CooperativeExtension of Suffolk County (CCE) will be offering a Marine Meadows Program Workshop to the  public on Sunday September 23, 2012.  The event will take place in partnership with East Hampton Trustees at their facility located at 267 Bluff Road in Amagansett from 1pm-3pm.  This workshop will coincide with the Trustee’s 22nd Annual Largest Clam Contest.   

The Marine Meadows Program is the collaborative, community-based component of CCE’s overall eelgrass restoration effort. By offering Marine Meadows Workshops throughout Long  Island, CCE is providing an opportunity for community members to learn about the importance of eelgrass to our marine ecosystem while participating in hands-on activities that help further restoration efforts in our region.  To date, CCE and variouspartners have facilitated 20 workshops in which nearly 500 volunteers have come together to assemble over 52,000 shoots of eelgrass into planting discs for use in CCE’s restoration efforts. 

This will be the first Marine Meadows event to take place in the Town of East Hampton.  The East Hampton Trustees have shown their support for CCE’s eelgrass restoration efforts by recently approving a proposal to conduct monitoring and restoration of eelgrass within East Hampton’s waters.  This will help ensure ample habitat is continually available for East Hampton’s wide variety of commercially and recreationally important fish and shellfish species.  The Trustees “welcome Cornell into East Hampton as a way to help restore eelgrass beds and to improve marine habitat as well as the ecological health of Napeague Harbor. We ask you to please join us on September 23rd so we can work together on this very important project.”

To kick off efforts to restore eelgrass populations to East Hampton’s waters, at the upcoming workshop, participants will work with CCE staff to weave eelgrass shoots (harvested from healthy donor meadows in local waters) into specially designed, biodegradable burlap planting discs.  Once assembled, these discs will temporarily be stored at CCE’s greenhouse facility and then planted by SCUBA certified CCE Marine Program staff at carefully selected restoration sites.
These newly created “marine meadows” will serve as important marine habitat for many species of finfish and shellfish. These habitats help enhance the health and productivity of our local bays and serve as important habitat for shellfish such as bay scallops and fin fish such as striped bass. 

All ages are welcome to participate, although this activity is best suited for ages 7 and up.  Registration is free, but suggested in advance as space is limited. For more
information on the Marine Meadows Program, or to register for this event, please contact Kimberly Barbour, Habitat Restoration Outreach Specialist at kp237@cornell.edu or 631-852-8660 ext. 27. 

To learn more about CCE’s Marine Meadows Program, find them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Marine-Meadows-Program/210110862383997


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