Register for CEED Nature Adventure Summer Camp 

Register for CEED Nature Adventure Summer Camp 

Atlantic Marine Conservation Society and Cold Stun Sea Turtles

Atlantic Marine Conservation Society and Cold Stun Sea Turtles

Atlantic Marine Conservation Society and Cold Stun Sea Turtles

Did you know that 5 of the 7 species of sea turtles spend summers in our Long Island waters? Two are listed as endangered and two are listed as threatened according to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. Since turtles are cold-blooded reptiles, they are unable to survive in our offshore waters during the colder months.  November and December are important months for helping out with sea turtle sightings.

Please join us for a talk on Wednesday, November 16th at 6:30 p.m. to find out what cold stun means and how that affects sea turtles.  Our friends from the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society will also show you how to spot these turtles on our shores and what to do if you find one.

Join us to learn more and hopefully be a part of the team to help protect these turtles. It’s super easy, all you have to do is walk the shores periodically.

This event is free to attend, but both CEED and Atlantic Marine Conservation Society are nonprofit organizations and rely on donations to continue our work and welcome any donations at the event.

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Creating Change at the Source

Creating Change at the Source

Creating Change at the Source

CEED is a not-for-profit nature center that inspires connection to the joys of nature through education and experience that restores our balance for a healthier community.

This is our mission statement, but what does that mean?

  • The Earth and the Universe are always evolving, always changing.
  • There is an interdependence with everything on Earth.
  • There are patterns everywhere in nature.

These are three facts, I shared every year with my classroom as a classroom teacher, whether biology or elementary classes.  These are true facts that cannot be denied, but they can be looked at in at least two different ways.  We, as humans, can be included in these facts or we can forget that we are a part of these three statements.  To me, our mission is to ensure we include ourselves in those three.

  • We are part of this ever-evolving Earth and universe.
  • We are part of this interdependence with everything on Earth.
  • We are part of the patterns in nature.

Ensuring we include ourselves in these three facts is crucial for a healthy planet.  Even those of us who think of ourselves as eco-conscious, we sometimes forget. We look at nature as, “Here, I will help you from the outside,” or “I will clean up my mess I made during my visit.”  I just finished reading a book where the author believes we have created our own parallel “ecosystem” separate from the biosphere or all the natural ecosystems on this planet. In our artificial ecosystem, we have created our own fruits, vegetables, and domesticated animals to a point where they are unable to survive in nature.  When these agricultural animals and plants do survive in nature, they sometimes create harmful effects on the natural ecosystem, because they knock out or shift the natural balance.  If you think of our existence today on Earth this way, our struggle with solving all the damage we have created on Earth is a struggle for us to connect our artificially created human ecosystems with the natural ecosystems to restore a balance.

 Our goal at CEED is to help to create these bridges of connection, through experience, education, and discovery. These bridges can be created through all different types of disciplines because people prefer to travel on a route they enjoy.  This is why we offer experiences and learning through art, science, and seeing through the eyes of animals.

This does not mean I believe we need to change everything in our way of life as we know it.  That would be unreasonable and virtually impossible.  As a species, we have truly created a plethora of incredible technology, inventions, and tools that allow people to do marvelous things and live in large numbers, all over the world. Making the connection with our lives back to nature is more thinking about how all these amazing things are affecting the natural world, creating ways that reduce and repair our negative effects, and moving forward with ways that proactively create less damage and might be beneficial for a healthy planet. This thinking is not easy and sometimes we do not see, from all angles, how our ideas disrupt nature until it is too late.  For example, cesspools did not sound like a bad idea long ago when not nearly as many people lived on Long Island.  We were no longer pouring our wastes directly into our waterways.   Little did we know, or maybe people ignored, that the toxins would seep into the soils, which would eventually make their way into the aquifer and waterways. Now that there are many more people and cesspools on Long Island, this has created a huge problem. This is a problem not only harming the natural ecosystem, but also affecting the health of people and communities. This is just one example.

Cleaning our beaches and land, removing invasive species, and vocalizing about our concerns for nature are a start.  Buying less plastic and packaging, buying products with less harmful chemicals, choosing native plants for landscaping and reducing, reusing, and recycling are doing even more to help the environment.  Creating major changes in our energy use, manufacturing, waste removal, food sources, landscaping, transportation, and more is when real change can happen. This is not easy, these changes need to occur on a global level, with solid support from all.

Desmond Tutu once said, “There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they’re falling in.”

Rev. Tutu was talking about saving people from suffering and inequity, but this metaphor could be used for Earth.  At CEED, we want to keep “pulling people out of the river,” by cleaning our beaches, removing invasive species, using more environmentally products and methods.  We also want to “go upstream and find out why they’re falling in,” by finding out how we can reduce this plastic pollution, clean our soils and water, and create a healthier Long Island.  Reducing plastic trash on the beach can only be achieved by producing less plastic, which can only be achieved by requiring products to be produced with less plastic, which can only be achieved if people are willing to buy products made or packaged in less plastic.

I hope you join us in not only “pulling people out of the river” but also finding out “why they’re falling in.”

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Jumpstart Caregiver and Little One Yoga at CEED

Jumpstart Caregiver and Little One Yoga at CEED

Jumpstart Caregiver and Little One Yoga at CEED

Yoga for parents and children brings balance and bonding to your busy lives …

With help from Colleen Kiker from Evolution Yoga, CEED has developed a special outdoor yoga program for parents and their children to help you both find dosha (energy). The first half of each one-hour session on Monday mornings from 9-10AM has parents doing “me time” yoga with Colleen, while children aged 3-5 are enjoying games, stories, and crafts.

For the second half hour, parents and children come together to connect and combine energies through the restorative magic of yoga. What a great way to start the week for both (all) of you!

Jumpstart Caregiver and Little One Yoga is offered in the field at the Center for Environmental Education and Discovery (CEED) at 287 South Country Road, Brookhaven Hamlet, and costs $30 per session for each parent/child combo, or $100 for all four sessions. You can add an additional parent or child for $15 per session.

Sessions on May 17, 24 and June 7, 14.

For questions or more information contact: 631.803.6780 or info@ceedli.org.

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Brook Trout in Lake Colden Prove We Can Heal the Earth

Brook Trout in Lake Colden Prove We Can Heal the Earth

Brook Trout in Lake Colden Prove We Can Heal the Earth

Not long ago, I read a heartening article in New York State Conservationist magazine. The article was about the discovery of brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) in Lake Colden, a small lake in the High Peaks Wilderness of Adirondack Park in upstate New York.  Finding brook trout in a remote, high mountain lake might not seem that remarkable. But acid rain over the second half of the 20th century made the water of many of the Adirondack lakes, especially the high elevation ones, so acidic that fish couldn’t live in them. According to the article, when biologists looked for fish in Lake Colden in 1970, they found not a single one. The same was true all the way through the last survey in 2011.  

So when a fisherman reported that he had caught a brook trout in Lake Colden last summer, it got the attention of the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Investigation soon discovered the brook trout were back. They apparently recolonized on their own by traveling upstream from the brooks and streams that lead out of Lake Colden.

The return of New York’s state fish is good news for Lake Colden, but the larger picture is even more important. Testing shows that the acidity of Lake Colden and other Adirondack lakes has dropped and is continuing to drop. They are once again becoming suitable for fish.

All the efforts to reduce sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions from power plants have paid off.  It took a couple of decades, but the return of brook trout to Lake Colden is proof.  What we do matters!

That’s why I am especially distressed when I read that our U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is relaxing the emissions protections that have done so much to make the air cleaner – and make high mountain lakes livable for brook trout again.

We are making progress.  We are learning how to heal the earth.  It makes no sense to go backwards.

– Tom Pelletier, Chair of CEED

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