Author: Syme, Emily

Take survey on Contaminants of Emerging Concern

A partnership of the Connecticut, New Hampshire and North Carolina Sea Grant programs is conducting a survey as part of a federally funded project announced in September 2021. Survey responses, which will be kept confidential, are due by Dec. 31.

Contaminants of Emerging Concern are not well regulated and their impacts on human health and ecosystems are not well understood. They include a diversity of compounds/families of compounds that have received popular press, along with lesser visibility chemicals. There is also no clear single agency jurisdiction to address Contaminants of Emerging Concern, and therefore significant overlap exists in interests and responsibilities across state and federal agencies/programs, in addition to NGO and academic interests and programs.

The purpose of this survey is to gain a better understanding of the national landscape on Contaminants of Emerging Concern, and identify a strategic national role/framework for Sea Grant on this broad and novel topic. In order to do so, we ask that:

  • You take approximately 10 minutes to complete this survey at: https://uconn.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_9XedI4x0xFxEP5A.
  • You distribute broadly and encourage your colleagues both within and outside of Sea Grant, including individuals from federal, state and local governmental agencies, NGOs, academia (including students) and interested citizens, to also take the survey

Please complete the survey by December 31, 2021. Your input will help guide future Sea Grant investments in the field of Contaminants of Emerging Concern. Survey responses will be kept confidential.

Thanks in advance for your input. You can direct additional feedback, questions or comments to sylvain.deguise@uconn.edu.

 

Written by CT Sea Grant

Welcome Emely to the UConn CT Trails Team

Emely ricciUConn Extension is excited to welcome Emely Ricci to the UConn Connecticut Trails team as an intern focused on supporting the Connecticut Trail Finder. Emely is a first-year graduate student in UConn’s MPA program. She hopes to go on and work in environmental policy in the future. She takes a keen interest in climate justice, specifically in indigenous peoples’ rights and international climate policy. Emely will be support outreach through social media engagement along with website and trail posting development. She has worked for UConn’s Long River Review and for UConn Ban the Bottle. During her off time, she can be seen writing, painting, or gardening.

CT Sea Grant Fall-Winter Magazine

Wrack Lines cover

Connecticut Sea Grant has published their Fall-Winter 2021-2022 issue of Wrack Lines magazine. The theme is “Discovery, Rediscovery and Rebirth”. It can be found in print and online here

The lead article package describes the Connecticut Estuarine Research Reserve (CT NERR), a collection of the waters and lands at the lower Connecticut River and the lower Thames River, along with Bluff Point and Haley Farm State Parks, and its expected designation in early 2022.

Additional articles tell the story of researchers’ work to pinpoint the cause of the invasive seaweed problem plaguing Little Narragansett Bay in Stonington, and of the top-to-bottom redesign underway at one of Connecticut’s storied educational institutions, the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History in New Haven.

Winter Riding Program with Department of Animal Science

The Department of Animal Science is offering the Winter Riding Program to the UConn community and public beginning December 13th and registration is now open!  Space is limited so reserve your spot today and share with anyone who may be interested! 

Please visit http://s.uconn.edu/uconnwinterriding for more information including registration forms.

 

CT Sea Grant Research Projects

Connecticut Sea Grant has selected six research projects for the 2022-2024 funding cycle. Focuses of these grants include gaining an understanding of marine life amid changing environmental conditions, community’s perception and behaviors in response to flood risks, and human relationships with the marine environment and individuals’ “ocean identity”. The projects are slated to receive a total of $765,585 in federal funds administered by CT Sea Grant, matched by $410,564 in non-federal funds, for a total research investment of more than $1.17 million. The awards are contingent on receipt of expected federal funding early in 2022.

The six projects are:

  • Hannes Bauman of the UConn Marine Sciences Department will work with Deborah Pacileo and Jacqueline Benway of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to investigate the abundance and growth of black sea bass to determine the role of rising water temperatures and salinity in the increasing populations of this fish in Long Island Sound. The fish will be harvested from DEEP’s spring trawl surveys in 2022 and 2023, and ear bone structures called otoliths that record annual growth will be analyzed. Richard McBride of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center will also participate in the research. This project will receive $149,173 in CTSG funding, supplemented with $77,205 in matching funds.
  • Copepods viewed under a microscope.
    Copepods viewed under a microscope.

    Hans Dam of the UConn Marine Sciences Department will work with Michael Finiguerra of the UConn Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology to test the impact of various climate change conditions on the survival of copepods, microscopic marine animals that are key to the food webs of Long Island Sound and other coastal and offshore waters. The research will further an earlier CT Sea Grant-funded project that established rapid but limited adaptation of these zooplankton to changing environmental conditions over 25 generations. The new experiments will focus on response to ocean warming, ocean acidification and combined warming and acidification. This project will receive $149,563 in CTSG funding, supplemented with $78,214 in matching funds.
    • Sean Grace of the SCSU Department of Biology will work with Colette Feehan of the Montclair State University Department of Biology to pilot the use of “green gravel”—small granite rocks seeded with kelp spores—in the restoration of kelp forests in Long Island Sound. Three sites in eastern Long Island Sound will be seeded with kelp in partnership with local kelp farmers. The purpose of the project is to develop cost-effective and scalable restoration techniques for this key native seaweed that supports a highly diverse marine ecosystem. Many kelp forests have been lost or degraded due to various human impacts. The project will receive $36,844 in CTSG funding, supplemented with $20,734 in matching funds.

  • James Knighton of the UConn Department of Natural Resources and the Environment will assess how socio-economic factors influence the behavior of coastal communities with respect to flood insurance and mitigation measures. The project will use census and National Flood Insurance Program data to characterize factors that account for variations in flood risk tolerance, hazard to loss relationships, precautionary actions taken after loss and the memory retention of past floods. Specifically, the research will examine seven coastal Connecticut communities with coastal surge barriers, and present findings to flood mitigation experts to inform efforts in communities with high social vulnerability that underutilize programs to manage flood risk. This project will receive $146,337 in CTSG funding, supplemented with $74,316 in matching funds.
  • Miriah Russo Kelly of the Department of Environmental, Geography and Marine Studies at SCSU will work with Jo-Marie Kasinak of the Department of Biology at Sacred Heart University and Emma McKinley, a research fellow at Cardiff University, to assess the concept of ocean identity and its application to ocean education, engagement and outreach programs. Ocean identity refers to people’s values and emotions surrounding their relationships with the ocean and environmental identity. The researchers will conduct a survey throughout New England about human relationships with ocean ecosystems, then analyze the results for differences in race, age, gender and geographic location. The survey results would be used to develop a toolkit for organizations that provide outreach and education around ocean issues. Jennifer Mattei of the Department of Biology at Sacred Heart and Jamie Vaudrey of the UConn Marine Sciences Department will assist in the project. This project will receive $143,309 in CTSG funding, supplemented with $89,553 in matching funds.
  • Christopher Perkins and Jessica Brandt, of the Center for Environmental Sciences and Engineering and the UConn Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, will examine PFAS contamination in shellfish and the phytoplankton they consume. PFAS—per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances—are chemicals used in a variety of consumer and industrial products that are persistent in the environment. Growing evidence suggests they have to numerous adverse effects on humans and wildlife. The shellfish and phytoplankton chosen for the study would come from an area with known or suspected PFAS contamination. Blue mussels and oysters from this area would be analyzed for concentrations of PFAS, and those results compared with concentrations of PFAS in phytoplankton. The findings would be shared with public health, aquaculture and environmental management professionals. The project will receive $140,359 in CTSG funding, supplemented with $70,542 in matching funds.

Full article at https://seagrant.uconn.edu/2021/11/04/marine-life-human-sea-interactions-to-be-explored-by-researchers/ 

AG Mechanics Workshop Series hosted by Solid Ground

Solid Ground is excited to Announce our 2021-2022 Ag-Mechanics Workshop Series!
(COST PER WORKSHOP $25 – Lunch included | SPACES ARE LIMITED!
If the cost is prohibitive, you may request a stipend for lost wages and/or travel, by emailing Rebecca.Toms@UConn.edu
Please contact us 2 weeks in advance with special needs (dietary, translation, accessibility, etc.) We’ll do our best to accommodate you.
COVID REQUIREMENTS: masks or cloth face coverings that cover a person’s nose and mouth are required to be worn and we expect masks and social distancing measures to be used at this workshop. (Please do not attend if you are not feeling well- you will receive a refund.)

Upcoming Trainings

CHAINSAW SKILLS & SAFETY FOR WOMEN
November 13th
Reserve your spot by emailing: Rebecca.Toms@UConn.edu
Rockville Agri-Science High School, Vernon CT- 9am-3pm
Intro to safe chain saw operation. Students will learn about PPE, work area safety, basic saw maintenance, chain sharpening, & how to develop a felling plan. Students will have a chance to fell a tree! Bring your own saw, or use ours. For women only.
TRACTOR IMPLEMENT OPERATIONS, SAFETY & ADJUSTMENT
November 20th (Snow date Nov 27)
Registration Coming Soon!
Nonnewaug Agri-Science High School, Woodbury CT- 9am-3pm
Safe & precise hookup of tractor attachments is critical on farms! Whether it’s 3-point-hitch or PTO, if this process is intimidating or difficult for you, join us! Learn the tips for attaching, calibrating, using common tractor attachments smoothly & efficiently.
SMALL ENGINE BREAKDOWN & REASSEMBLE
December 4th (Snowdate Dec. 18th)
Registration Coming Soon!
Nonnewaug Agri-Science High School, Woodbury CT- 9am-3pm
Ever wonder what a carburetor looks like? Or where it even is on a weed wacker? Get an in-depth understanding of small engine maintenance & repair by pulling apart and reassembling a standard small engine. We provide the engines! Bring your questions and any small engine that’s giving you trouble on your farm.
ADVANCED WELDING USING METAL INERT GAS METHODS-
December 11th (snow date Jan. 8)
Registration Coming Soon
Rockville Agri-Science High School, Vernon CT- 9am-3pm
Did you attend our welding workshop last year? Are you a novice welder? This workshop is perfect for you as we go deeper into welding using MIG (Metal Inert Gas) and take on bigger welding tasks that you might encounter on your farm.
POWER TOOLS & CARPENTRY BASICS FOR BIPOC FARMERS
February 5th  (Snow date Feb. 19th)
Registration Coming Soon!
Nonnewaug Agri-Science High School, Woodbury CT- 9am-3pm
Get familiar with the power tools & carpentry skills that you’ll need on your farm. Learn to use an impact driver, drill, skill saw, table saw, & more. You’ll work with your new skills to complete a project to take home! For those identifying as BIPOC only.
FIELD IRRIGATION-
February 12th (snow date Feb 26th)
Registration Coming Soon
Rockville Agri-Science High School, Vernon CT- 9am-3pm

Irrigation is a critical part of growing food. Reliable water infrastructure is key! Learn about drip lines, sprinklers, overhead guns, tile drainage, and reliable sources for your irrigation components.

Common Ground Farm & Garden Conference

Registration is now open for the Farm & Garden Conference in partnership

flyer

with The Solid Ground Urban Farmer Training Program featuring the “I Got Next Urban Farmer Coalition”! This event will be happening on Saturday, Nov. 13th from 9am – 3pm at 358 Springside Ave. New Haven CT. You can register by clicking HERE  and pay when you get to the event.

 

Important Note about Spanish Interpretation: *Some workshops have an option for Spanish interpretation, so please indicate if this is the language you use and we will try to provide interpretation//Algunos talleres tienen la opción de interpretación al español, así que indique si este es el idioma que usa e intentaremos brindar interpretación. We have attached information in English and Spanish (our registration sheet is also in Eng/Spa). (***not all workshops will have interp.) 
Important Note about Covid: According to local mandates, we require all attendees to provide proof of vaccination OR a negative test from no more than 72 hours before the conference. Attendees must wear masks indoors and when close to other participants outside. This conference is not for young people- we will NOT have childcare and all activities are geared towards adults, not children. HS students must be accompanied by a supervisor or guardian. We do hope to offer our children’s track again in the future.//De acuerdo con los mandatos locales, requerimos que todos los asistentes proporcionen un comprobante de vacunación O una prueba negativa de no más de 72 horas antes de la conferencia. Los asistentes deben usar mascarillas en el interior y cuando estén cerca de otros participantes en el exterior. Esta conferencia no es para jóvenes, NO tendremos cuidado de niños y todas las actividades están dirigidas a adultos, no a niños. Los estudiantes de secundaria deben estar acompañados por un supervisor o tutor. Esperamos volver a ofrecer talleres a nuestros niños en el futuro.

CT Sea Grant Upcoming Talk

Connecticut Sea Grant is offering an upcoming talk titled “The New Lawn: Landscaping for Long Island Sound” on Nov. 6 at 10:30 a.m. at the Bill Library in Ledyard. Admission is free. The talk will be given by Judy Preston, the Long Island Sound outreach coordinator for Connecticut Sea Grant. For more information reach out to Judy Preston at Judy.preston@uconn.edu or 860-395-8335.

“Let’s rethink the lawn and learn about what ‘native’ is, why that matters, and how to attract and sustain wildlife, while also managing our landscapes to reduce water, fertilizer and chemical use, all to the benefit of our local waterways and Long Island Sound,” she said in a description of the talk.