On April 27th, 2022 Seatuck was featured as part of Princeton Hydro’s Client Spotlight series, which showcases the organizations they work with to restore habitat.
You can read the article and view the videos online here. The text and videos of the article are below.
Client Spotlight: Seatuck Environmental Association
Welcome to the latest edition of our Client Spotlight series, which provides an inside look at our collaboration, teamwork, and accomplishments with a specific client.
Today, we’re shining the spotlight on the Seatuck Environmental Association. Seatuck Environmental Association is a 501c3 nonprofit based in Islip, New York. They work on wildlife conservation and nature education across Long Island. The organization advocates for wildlife and advancing conservation projects, engages community scientists in wildlife research, and offers environmental education opportunities for Long Islanders of all ages.
For this Client Spotlight, we spoke with Seatuck’s Conservation Policy Advocate Emily Hall via zoom:
Q. What is your primary role within Seatuck?
Q. What does Seatuck value?
Particularly in our conservation work, we really try to stay niche. We specifically focus on restoring and protecting Long Island’s wildlife and environment. We advocate for wildlife, advance restoration projects, conduct surveys, educate public officials, host workshops, lead coalitions and pursue a host of other approaches to promote wildlife conservation and habitat restoration.
Q. What makes the Seatuck Environmental Association unique?
Seatuck is really unique because we’re one of the only environmental organizations that works island-wide and isn’t part of a national organization. This really gives us the opportunity to stay focused on Long Island’s wildlife and environment, and dive into a lot of different wildlife protection efforts as well as habitat restoration projects. We also offer nature-based education programs all the way from pre-k to professional teacher training.
Q. How long has Seatuck been working with Princeton Hydro?
We’ve been working with Princeton Hydro since 2018. Seatuck was awarded the NYSDEC Division of Marine Resources Grant for Tributary Restoration and Resiliency to design a fish passage at the dam intersecting Mill Pond and Bellmore Creek. We contracted Princeton Hydro to design the fish passage options.
Q. What are some key takeaways/highlights from the Bellmore Creek Fish Passage project?
Q. In what ways did you get the community involved in the Bellmore Creek Fish Passage Project?
As an organization, it’s very important for us to collaborate with the community on projects and initiatives, and to understand the perspectives of all the different stakeholders involved. For the Bellmore Creek Fish Passage Project, we brought together environmental organizations, community members and the dam owners. We began by holding in-person meetings and site visits in order to provide education around the site’s history and the project goals, and give everyone a chance to hear each other’s feedback in real-time. Then COVID forced us to go virtual so we hosted a community webinar and developed an online survey. We collected a lot of valuable feedback that we were able to bring back to the dam owners to help them make the best decision possible.
Q. Do you have a favorite or most memorable moment from the project?
Meeting with all the different stakeholders and talking to them about the project is probably one of my most rewarding parts of the project. Educating people on why these diadromous fish are important and helping them understand the different benefits of a fish passage is very important to me and incredibly rewarding.
Q. The Bellmore Creek project is part of a larger initiative called “Seatuck’s Long Island River Revival.” Can you talk more about that?
Q. What connectivity and restoration project is coming up next for Seatuck?
Q. How can an individual get involved with Seatuck?
Q. How can Princeton Hydro support you/your organization in the future?
Princeton Hydro has been a fantastic partner through the Bellmore Creek Project. We look forward to working with Princeton Hydro in the future and supporting our efforts to look at different fish passage projects, potentially dam removals, and related alternative assessments. For Bellmore Creek, Princeton Hydro provided valuable insights as to the different types of fish passage options and helped to identify the best option for our community. We’ll hopefully continue this partnership and work together to restore the ecological health of more coastal rivers and streams.