The Friends of Flax Pond is the recipient of a $35,000 grant for educational programs in coastal communities from Smithtown Harbor to Mt. Sinai Harbor.
Based in Stony Brook, Friends of Flax Pond is a group that advocates for the protection of the shoreline, coastal wetlands, and marsh of Flax Pond and the surrounding areas.
Students involved in the Friends of Flax Pond educational programs will complete community service projects centered around environmental stewardship and building awareness that will stretch out to the community at large. They will study real issues affecting the local environment, such as stormwater runoff and the health of fish and shellfish populations.
"We'll be helping them research and figure out what could they do practically to help," said Nancy Grant, program director of The Friends of Flax Pond. "If everybody just did a little bit, it would make a signficiant difference in the Sound, the quality of the water, and its ability to support fish and wildlife that we want to be there."
Examples of student projects could include a campaign to help people understand the importance of picking up pet waste, a push to have people use car wash services in town rather than wash cars in their driveways, or an awareness campaign against over-fertilization.
"It's pretty exciting to work with the kids this way," Grant said. "They really get to see that there's something that they can do."
The funding was announced Monday as part of a $913,202 package of grants secured by the Long Island Sound Study that will support 15 different projects in New York. The grant program combines public and private funding for projects that protect and restore the waters and associated habitats of the Long Island Sound, coming from organizations such as the EPA, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Deparment of Agriculture, Wells Fargo, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.