Maggie Cozens joined Connecticut Sea Grant and UConn Extension as the Long Island Sound Study outreach coordinator this summer. Her role focuses on encouraging people to care about Long Island Sound and help steward it. The Environmental Protection Agency funds the Long Island Sound Study. It is a partnership with New York Sea Grant, and NEIWPCC, an interstate commission focused on water quality.
“I’m hoping that people will learn they can be empowered participants in stewarding their landscapes, and that they can work with their communities to ensure the integrity of local ecosystems. We can all be active agents stewarding the coastline and watershed,” Maggie reflects on the new role.
She grew up in Newtown, Connecticut, and earned her bachelor of science degree from Appalachian State University in North Carolina and a master of science in environmental science from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington.
“I try to involve lots of different voices in environmental conversations. People often want to be active champions of the natural world but don’t always know how. There is a strong sense of place in coastal Connecticut, and I’m excited to tap into it.”
During her undergraduate program, Maggie had the opportunity to participate in a semester with the Sea Education Association She sailed from Cape Cod to Ireland, and it was her first time sailing. The tall ship world is connected, and that experience was the catalyst for additional marine science opportunities.
Maggie’s interests always focus on watershed health and marine science. She spent a year as an AmeriCorps volunteer at New England Science and Sailing in southeastern Connecticut. After graduate school, she lived on board a schooner and taught marine science and whale biology to middle school students. She then went on to coordinate environmental education and direct a summer ecology camp at Great Hollow Nature Preserve in New Fairfield, CT.
“These experiences stoked a love of field science, environmental education, and outreach. I have been fortunate to participate in a lot of different opportunities within environmental science, conservation, and education,” she says.
She worked for Maine Coastal Heritage Trust before joining UConn and is glad to be back in Connecticut. “Connecticut contains some of my favorite places to hike; the Connecticut landscape has such an interesting legacy, and you can see it every time you’re outside. There is a wonderful diversity of flora, fauna, and communities. Of the states I’ve had the pleasure of living in, Connecticut never fails to surprise me with its often-overlooked natural beauty and nuance. It is interesting to be outside in this state.
Visit seagrant.uconn.edu to learn more about Maggie and her stewardship work with the Long Island Sound Study.