06/12/17 6:01am
06/12/2017 6:01 AM

Early Thursday afternoon, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and Suffolk County Legislator Al Krupski climbed aboard a barge and headed into the Peconic Bay. Their mission: to harvest sugar kelp, a type of seaweed.

The officials participated in the first harvest of Cornell Cooperative Extension Marine Program’s pilot Peconic Estuary Seaweed Aquaculture Feasibility Study, which is funded in part through Suffolk County.

(more…)

06/13/15 12:00pm
06/13/2015 12:00 PM
Tracey Marcus, instructor for the marine camp, holds up a starfish. (Credit: Paul Squire)

Tracey Marcus, instructor for the marine camp, holds up a starfish. (Credit: Paul Squire)

Tracy Marcus, an instructor at the Suffolk County Marine Environmental Learning Center in Southold, points through the clear water in an open-topped tank, where a scallop about the size of a clenched fist lies on its side, revealing a ring of bright blue eyes. She reaches in to pick it up and fish and shrimp scurry away as the scallop snaps shut.

The “touch tank” is one of four at the Cedar Beach facility, operated by Cornell University. And this summer, during sessions of the Sea Adventures Marine Camp, the tanks — the center’s most popular attractions — will once again be open to North Fork children after nearly a decade in Babylon.

“We’ve been talking the past couple of years about doing a full-scale program,” said Kimberly Barbour, marine program outreach manager for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County. “Back in its heyday, [the old] program was huge.”

The North Fork summer camp had run for several years, but in 2007 the extension chose to move it to Babylon. For the past few years, a smaller program, accommodating only nine children at a time, was set up in Southold. But when the Babylon location became unavailable last year, the larger summer camp program was able to move back to the East End.

The camp offers a variety of week-long courses, some of them offered multiple times over the summer. A main camp will include interactive exhibits, activities in the nearby salt marsh and marine-themed arts and crafts, Ms. Marcus said.

Campers will also get to explore the touch tank room and pick up starfish and hermit crabs. Nearby, tropical fish and even small sharks native to the area swim in larger tanks.

Programs are designed for campers in various age groups from 6 to 12 and include a special week devoted to marine mammals like whales, seals and dolphins, as well as the popular “shark week.”

Both of those week-long camps feature trips to the Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead.

When they’re not out exploring, Ms. Marcus said, campers will be inside the Cedar Beach learning center, in a classroom with a digital microscope that can be streamed to a giant TV, Ms. Marcus said.

There’s also enough space in the center to hold camps for younger and older children at the same time, meaning parents with kids of different ages can enroll them all at once, she added.

The online registration period is now open at SeaAdventuresMarineCamp.com and will remain open until the camp programs begin in early July.

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03/29/15 8:00am
03/29/2015 8:00 AM
(Credit: Courtesy Greenport Schools)

Greenport High School students Richard Galicia-Torres (from left) Antonio Coria, Walfred Gatica, Jonathan Vasquez and Antonio Anderson won second place at Saturday’s Junior Iron Chef competition in Lake Grove. (Credit: Courtesy Greenport Schools)

Behind their grilled vegetable wrap, five Greenport High School students earned second place honors at Saturday’s third annual Junior Iron Chef competition at Whole Foods Market in Lake Grove.

(more…)

02/11/15 10:00am
02/11/2015 10:00 AM

Landscapers and do-it-yourself homeowners interested in learning how to go green organically will have an opportunity to do just that during an upcoming informational seminar spearheaded by the Perfect Earth Project.

One of the newest environmental advocacy groups on the East End, it has teamed up with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County and the Peconic Land Trust to offer an all-day seminar on Feb. 13.  (more…)

11/20/14 8:00am
11/20/2014 8:00 AM
Cornell Cooperative Extension's lab at Cedar Beach in Southold. (Cyndi Murray photo)

Cornell Cooperative Extension’s lab at Cedar Beach in Southold. (Credit: Cyndi Murray)

Southold Town is drafting a letter to the state Department of Environmental Conservation in support of Cornell Cooperative Extension’s plan to have its lab in Southold certified to test water samples. (more…)

10/02/14 8:00am
10/02/2014 8:00 AM
One local expert says stink bugs may become more of an annoyance in years to come.  (Dan Gilrein courtesy)

One local expert says stink bugs may become more of an annoyance in years to come. (Dan Gilrein courtesy)

For one thing, they are aptly named.

Residents who casually squash a halyomorpha halys underfoot will be assaulted by a sharp odor coming from the deceased marmorated (marbled) stink bug.

The smelly critters are here, with some people saying their houses are full of them: climbing walls, underfoot (careful) and hanging out in window curtains and drapes. “Everyone’s asking me about stink bugs,” said Wally Ogar of East End Pest Control on Shelter Island. “I’ve got them in my house, too.”

He’s not the only one. Joanne Sherman said she had never seen one until this spring, and there was no trace of them this summer. But just recently they were back. Neighbors, Ms. Sherman said, told her their house is covered with the bugs.

Mr. Ogar said it’s not a new phenomenon, but happens every fall when the bugs, ready to hibernate, make their way into houses.

But Craig Rosenberg of North Shore Exterminating in Southold said stink bugs are relatively new residents of the East End.

Daniel Gilrein, an entomologist with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County, said “there had been low numbers of stink bugs recorded over the last several years,” but that he and his colleagues “have seen more this year than previously.”

Mr. Gilrein added that he had about 15 in his Riverhead house last week.

Stink bugs might smell bad if roughed up, but they don’t bite and won’t hurt pets or do any structural damage. They’re unsightly and can be a nuisance in large numbers, the entomologist said. Stink bugs are not so benign to farms, orchards or gardens, however, feeding on fruits and leaves.

The jury is still out on getting rid of them, according to Mr. Rosenberg, who is cautious about using insecticides in homes without more information. He’s consulted with Mr. Gilrein and other entomologists and is waiting for upcoming seminars that will address a stink bug solution.

Mr. Rosenberg and Mr. Ogar said some insecticides can be put down outside houses near foundation lines, and Mr. Rosenberg has used “fly lights” in attics, which attracts the bugs and then captures them.

They can be vacuumed, Mr. Ogar said, but the bag has to be thrown away immediately. What should you do if you’re sharing quarters with stink bugs?

Mr. Gilrein advised making sure all possible entry points are sealed or screened off, but admitted this could be impossible for older homes.

“Over the next few years the population may be building, so if that’s the case and they become a serious annoyance, you might contact a pest control professional for assistance,” he added.

What shouldn’t you do if you’ve got stink bugs in the house?

“Panic,” Mr. Gilrein said.