Connecticut Sea Grant

Summer Environmental Education Academy

man sitting at an Apple computerConnecticut educators are invited to participate in FE3: Facilitating Excellence in Environmental Education, Climate Simulation Workshop and Resources professional development program from July 14 to 16.

To meet changing health directives this workshop will be offered electronically from a.m. to 3 p.m. A flier for the Summer Environmental Education Academy can be found here.

This series for secondary, upper elementary, and university education professionals will focus on bringing understanding of climate change action to students through interactive model simulation using the EN-ROADS Simulator from MIT.

The three-day training will provide educators with integration of environmental resources into curriculum.  Participants will:

  • Receive a $100 stipend for your participation
  • Run climate action policy simulations for application with students.
  • Work with state scientists to understand local climate actions
  • Introduction to participation in the Climate Youth Summit for 2021
  • Support NGSS applications to weather, climate and system understanding for data use, argumentation and presentation aspects.
  • Obtain a library of resources to support your curriculum, including new climate materials & lessons

This series is open to all educators in the state of Connecticut.  Registration is required and can be completed electronically using this link.  For more information or to answer any questions please contact any of these state coordinators:

  • Susan Quincy:
  • Susan Robinson:
  • Beth Bernard:
  • Kristen Bellantuono:

The workshop is sponsored by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection; the Connecticut Forest and Park Associationthe Connecticut Department of EducationProject WildProject WETConnecticut Sea Grant; and EN-ROADS.

Original Post by Connecticut Sea Grant:

Supporting Connecticut’s Shellfish Industry During COVID-19

Phased Response to Rehabilitate Natural Beds

Marc Harrell
Marc Harrell, manager of Mystic Oysters, checks on brood stock at the Noank Shellfish Cooperative on Thursday. Although most of the co-op is shut down, the brood stock tanks had to be maintained. “This is our future, so we have to keep this going,” Harrell said. Judy Benson / Connecticut Sea Grant

(HARTFORD, CT) – The Connecticut Department of Agriculture is collaborating with state and federal partners on the development of a phased response to support shellfish farmers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The innovative program will enable shellfish farmers to contribute to the rehabilitation of the state’s natural shellfish beds, and to receive compensation for their work, which will occur in two distinct phases. This work highlights the importance of the partnership between the Department and Connecticut Sea Grant to provide assistance to the industry during a critical time.

“Ongoing close relationships and coordination between the Department of Agriculture, Connecticut Sea Grant, and industry members allowed for a quick assessment of needs and pooling of capacity and resources for what in my opinion represents a response that is both quick and thoughtful, for the short and medium term”, said Sylvain De Guise, director of Connecticut Sea Grant. “From discussions with colleagues in the region, Connecticut is ahead of neighboring states in responding to the needs of the shellfish aquaculture sector”, he added.

Six areas of focus have been identified by the department, totaling approximately 7,000 acres. The areas are located from West Haven to Greenwich in order maximize participation by shellfish companies. Specifically, the natural bed areas are Flatneck Point Greenwich, Fish Island Natural Bed Darien/Norwalk, Fairfield Natural Bed, Bridgeport/Stratford Natural Bed, Offshore Housatonic River and West Haven Shoal Natural Bed. All of these beds are in need of rehabilitation in order to return them to productive seed oyster producing assets.

“As Commissioner, I have granted access to Connecticut’s public shellfish beds for the specific purpose of the work proposed in this project,” said Agriculture Commissioner Bryan P. Hurlburt. “This addresses the emerging economic impacts resulting from COVID-19, while simultaneously addressing one of the key recommendations identified in the Connecticut Shellfish Initiative Vision Plan to rehabilitate the state’s public shellfish beds.”

Phase One, the rehabilitation of designated portions of natural beds using hydraulic clam dredges, is targeted to begin May 6, 2020 with more than one dozen participants registered and more anticipated.

Phase Two is slated to start June 1, 2020 utilizing federal funding through a project submitted by the Department and Connecticut Sea Grant. This phase will allow shellfish farmers to rehabilitate shallower portions of the natural bed. Upon approval of funding, this phase of the program will allow participating companies to be compensated for a portion of their hours worked.

The Department will document enhancement achieved through the rehabilitation efforts using a combination of the VMS data, landings reporting, and via the deployment of an underwater video camera to document bottom conditions of those areas that have been worked versus baseline conditions in areas of the beds that have not been worked. Staff intend to document long-term recovery of beds by assessing conditions and oyster recruitment levels on project areas in subsequent seasons. The information will be used to develop best management practices for the management of natural oyster seed beds to achieve maximum production of oyster seed in these beds in the future.

By rehabilitating the state’s public shellfish beds, the Department hopes to facilitate the availability of oyster seed to the entire industry, ensuring the future sustainability of the state’s shellfish industry.

Shellfish companies interested in participating in the program should submit their request via email to

Connecticut Seafood Survey Can Help Guide Industry

cover of Connecticut seafood survey publication

The final report from the Connecticut Seafood Survey: Assessing Seafood Consumption, Knowledge, Behaviors and Preferences of Connecticut Seafood is now published.

This new report from Connecticut Sea Grant includes findings from a survey of Connecticut residents about their seafood related consumption, knowledge, behaviors and preferences.

Read the report at:

Grant Will Fund Creation of Climate Impacts Video

beach houseAdapt CT, an outreach partnership of Connecticut Sea Grant and the Center for Land Use Education and Research (CLEAR), has been awarded a $2,978 grant to fund a student intern to work on a video about climate change in Connecticut. The video is intended primarily for municipal commission members.

The grant is one of 14 awarded to non-profit organizations for environmental projects and programs this month by the Middletown-based Rockfall Foundation. It will fund student salary and mileage costs for the project, set to begin in May and continue for one year.

Part of a new resilience training series created in partnership with PREP-RI, the video will provide current climate change information to help municipal board and commission members as they make decisions at the local level. Both coastal and inland towns as well as areas in and around the Connecticut River will be highlighted in the video to show climate change impacts on local natural resources and infrastructure, according to the Rockfall Foundation.

Read more…

Online Education Resources from Connecticut Sea Grant

living treasuresConnecticut Sea Grant is encouraging teachers and parents to check out the many online educational resources available that can be used for virtual and at-home lessons about Long Island Sound and the larger marine environment.

These can be found on the educational publications section of the CT Sea Grant website. In addition to online resources, a limited number of print copies of Living Treasures: The Plants and Animals of Long Island Sound, and the Spanish language version, Tesoros Vivientes,  that can be mailed to homes free of charge during the viral outbreak on a first-come, first-served basis during the pandemic. A limited number of print copies of CT Sea Grant’s biannual magazine, Wrack Lines, can also be mailed free of charge. Please send requests to:

Read more for additional resources.

Support for the Aquaculture Industry

Marc Harrell
Marc Harrell, manager of Mystic Oysters, checks on brood stock at the Noank Shellfish Cooperative on Thursday. Although most of the co-op is shut down, the brood stock tanks had to be maintained. “This is our future, so we have to keep this going,” Harrell said. Judy Benson / Connecticut Sea Grant

Sales revenue for Connecticut aquaculture producers fell an average of 93 percent in February and March compared to the same period in 2019, and 70 percent of the workforce employed in shellfish, seaweed and finfish farming operations have been laid off due to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

These are some of the findings of a preliminary summary of a survey of Connecticut’s aquaculture producers. It was conducted by Connecticut Sea Grant, UConn Extension and the Connecticut Department of Agriculture to assess impacts of the pandemic on the industry and inform assistance plans. Sea Grant, the Department of Agriculture and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are using the list of specific actions recommended by the respondents to design the most effective means of providing short- and long-term assistance, including grants and loans.

Read more.

Take a Fun, Educational Beach Walk and Share Your Finds

scallop shells on a Connecticut beachBeachcombing along the Connecticut coast can be a fun and healthy educational activity for families eager to get out outdoors while the COVID-19 virus keeps children home from school.
Among the many publications available from its website, Connecticut Sea Grant is calling attention to Living Treasures: The Plants and Animals of Long Island Sound, and a series of three pamphlets about seaweeds, shells and beach plants that families can use for easy beach activities. Families are urged to send photos from their outings that will be posted on the Connecticut Sea Grant website.

Aquaculture Farmers: Local Health Dept. & District Contact Info

Connecticut state flagIf you are considering direct sales via farm stands or markets, we previously sent the guidance and it is also at: An important step in the approval process is to contact your local health department or district. Contact information is below. Keep in mind that these folks are very busy right now. Be persistent; be kind.

Sincerely, The Sea Grant Staff

If your health department/district is not listed (this list was created for aquaculture) visit—Site-Map for the full list.

Local Health Department and District Contact Information

Ledge Light Health District – Serving Stonington, Groton, Ledyard, New London, Waterford, East Lyme, Old Lyme


East Shore Health District – Serving Branford, East Haven, or North Branford


Bridgeport Health Department

(203) 576-7680

Fairfield Health Department

(203) 256-3020

Greenwich Health Department

(203) 622-7836

Guilford Health Department

(203) 453-8118

Madison Health Department

(203) 245-5681

Milford Health Department

(203) 783-3285

New Haven Health Department

(203) 946-6999

Norwalk Health Department

(203) 854-7776

Stamford Health Department

(203) 977-4399

Stratford Health Department

(203) 385-4090

Town of Darien

(203) 656-7320

West Haven Health Department

(203) 937-3660

Westport Weston Health District

(203) 227-9571

If your health department/district is not listed (this list was created for aquaculture) visit—Site-Map for the full list.

Managing Stress – You and Your Families

stress spelled out with scrabble piecesIn this challenging time, we need to take care of each other and especially ourselves. Self-care is important to our physical and mental health. We all deserve self-care, especially now. Please consider these resources.

The first is a video on managing stress during a pandemic. It was worth the 17 minutes to hear tips on how to care for ourselves and our children. Maybe you are guiding co-workers or elderly parents. We hope this helps:

Related Reading Resources: 


How to Cope with Stress

Talking to Your Children


Cómo lidiar con el estrés

Cómo hablar con los niños

Other Mental Health Resources:

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has a list of five things you should know about stress and you can find that valuable information here:

Additionally, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and the Crisis Text Line have trained counselors who are ready to listen.  If you would like to talk to someone related to COVID-19, call the National Suicide Prevention Line: 1-800-273-8255, or text the word SHARE to 741741.  Website links can be found here: |

Please take care of yourselves and remember that we are here to help.


The Connecticut Sea Grant staff

Important Resources for Aquaculture Farmers

Photo: Tessa Getchis

March 19, 2020

COVID AND SEAFOOD SAFETY – By the National Fisheries Institute, includes responses to specific questions, as well as four simple talking points. 

Get the information you need to make direct sales in your community.

Are you trying to make sales in your community during COVID-19, email


March 17, 2020
Per the Connecticut DA/BA, shellfish sampling will continue along the coast so that harvest areas may remain open. Email David Carey or call (203) 874-0696 with any questions.

March 13,2020
Call 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or e-mail





Content curated by Tessa Getchis, UConn Extension & CT Sea Grant