Executive Director Highlight

Hosting Alicia Skovera, Executive

Director of the American Camp Association, NY and NJ

CCE Suffolk had the distinct privilege of welcoming Alicia Skovera, Executive Director of ACA NY/NJ, on her visit to several of our camp sites across Long Island!

The American Camp Association, New York and New Jersey is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to preserving, promoting, and enhancing the quality of the summer camp experience. Our dedicated staff and counselors play such a vital role in shaping the lives of our young campers and fostering their growth and development, it was a pleasure to showcase all they do for Ms. Skovera. Two of our camps have successfully achieved ACA accreditation, and we are eagerly anticipating accreditation for our newer camps in the upcoming years!

A big thank you to ACA, NY and NJ for recognizing the importance of these programs, and for their support in helping us continue our mission to provide safe, educational, and fun environments for Long Island’s youth!

Additional thanks to Shawn Tiede, Cornell Cooperative Extension 4-H Camping Specialist, whose guidance and coordination were invaluable in ensuring Ms. Skovera's memorable journey throughout Long Island.

Learn more about ACA NY/NJ

Letter of Thanks from NYS Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli

CCE Suffolk is incredibly grateful to have the support of Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, who was kind enough to send a letter of thanks to our office following a meeting with LIHREC staff, Dr. Margery Daughtrey, Agriculture Program Director Dr. Nora Catlin, and Marine Program Director Chris Pickerell.

State Senator Monica Martinez

Visits the Farm

We welcomed Senator Monica Martinez for a visit to the Suffolk County Farm & Education Center! The Senator enjoyed a tour and learned all about the latest happening at our organization.

Thank you for your time Senator Martinez!

Meeting with Legislator Sarah Anker

Legislator Sarah Anker and her Chief of Staff, Dorothy Cavalier, graciously joined me in a meeting to discuss supporting 4-H programming in Suffolk and the Suffolk County Farm & Education Center. Accompanying me was Vicki Fleming, the dedicated Director of CCE Suffolk 4-H Youth Development.

We sincerely appreciate Legislator Anker's valuable time and attention during the meeting!

Visiting the Long Island Game Farm

I was joined by staff from the Suffolk County Farm & Education Center for a visit to our friends at the Long Island Game Farm!

The Long Island Game Farm was founded in 1970 by Stanley and Diane Novak, a husband and wife who shared a love and passion for animals. Nearing 55 years as Long Island’s premier education and attraction center for wildlife, the zoo is evolving further and recently included a new nonprofit arm, The Foundation for Wildlife Sustainability, Inc.

The team discussed possible collaborations between our organizations, and even got to meet Bobo the giraffe!

Don’t miss Bobo’s Bon Voyage Party on September 16th! The 3-year-old giraffe lives at the park from May through October before heading south for the colder months.

Learn more here

Board of Directors Meet at SCMELC

This month’s meeting of the CCE Suffolk Board of Directors took place at the Suffolk County Marine Environmental Learning Center, offering board members an insightful tour of the CCE Marine Program's state-of-the-art shellfish hatchery. The group also enjoyed a delicious BBQ prepared by SCMELC staff and, of course, fresh shellfish!

A heartfelt appreciation to all our esteemed board members for your unwavering support!

DEIB (Diversity, Equity, Inclusivity, and Belongingness) Updates

BIPOC Mental

Health Month

July was BIPOC Mental Health Month, an annual observance that shines a spotlight on the mental health experiences and challenges faced by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) in communities around the world. Recognizing the unique struggles and systemic barriers that BIPOC individuals encounter, this month-long initiative aims to foster understanding, support, and advocacy for their mental well-being.

On the Community Education Program's Facebook page, the team has been sharing insights and tips for supporting BIPOC communities. By acknowledging and addressing the intersectionality of race, ethnicity, and mental health, BIPOC Mental Health Month seeks to dismantle stigma and create a more empathetic and inclusive society.

Long Island’s

Latino Conservation Day

The Cornell Cooperative Extension Marine Program was in attendance for Long Island’s Latino Conservation Day in support of Latino Conservation Week! 

Held at Sunken Meadow State Park, the team joined Audubon New York, NY State Parks & Historic Sites, The Atlantic Marine Conservation Society and other partners in providing an opportunity for Latinos to show their support for permanently protecting our land, water, and air.

LILTA Young Women Summer Institute Luncheon

Executive Director Vanessa Lockel attended a luncheon held by LILTA's Young Women Summer Institute, a summer program providing mentorship, workshops, and college visits for high school students.

The Long Island Latino Teachers Association (LILTA) is a nonprofit organization advocating for high-quality education to improve graduation rates and higher education enrollment among the rapidly growing Latino student population.

Learn more

Program Updates


Former Agriculture Program Director

Bill Sanok Among Those Honored at

North Fork Wine Event

The Cutchogue-New Suffolk Historical Council recently held an event celebrating 50 years of vineyards on the North Fork, during which former CCE Suffolk Agriculture Program Director Bill Sanok was honored.

Mr. Sanok's expertise in agriculture is highly regarded throughout Long Island, and he is renowned for playing a significant role in the inception of the region's wine industry during the 1970s. Joining him in this prestigious acknowledgment were Louisa Hargrave, a trailblazer who established Long Island's first commercial winery in 1973, and Chef John Ross, a visionary restaurateur from North Fork, who was instrumental in popularizing local wines in his culinary ventures.

LIHREC Holds Plant

Science Day

Plant Science Day at LIHREC welcomed 200 stakeholders and members of the agriculture and horticulture industries.

Participants had the opportunity to choose from four captivating tours, each highlighting a distinct area of interest: greenhouse and floriculture, landscape and nursery, vegetable, or viticulture. These tours offered valuable insights into the latest research developments and updates.

Thank you to Farm Credit East for sponsoring this event!

Inaugural Event of the LIA

East End Committee

Executive Director Vanessa Lockel and Viticulturist Alice Wise were honored to represent our organization at the inaugural event of the Long Island Association’s new East End Committee!

The Long Island Association (LIA) is the region’s leading non-partisan business organization and amplifies the voice of the business community. The East End Committee will work to ensure economic vitality and provide regional leadership to guarantee a bright future for the East End’s economy.

Alice delivered a presentation on the region's winemaking industry, emphasizing its significance and contribution to the area's economic well-being.

Learn more about the LIA

Intern Day at LIHREC

Over 80 interns from schools, businesses, and public gardens from throughout Long Island and even as far away as the Bronx visited LIHREC for Intern Day!

These young professionals listened to presentations from Cornell University and LIHREC staff, and got to know more about the industry with a Q&A session.

Thank you to this events sponsors:

Long Island Nursery and Landscape Association

New York State Flower Industries

Friends of Long Island Horticulture

Farm Credit East

Community Education

NewsdayTV: Better health via vouchers for fresh produce, nutrition classes

NewsdayTV joined educators from the Community Education Program to cover the inspiring Fruit & Veggie Prescription Program!

The story revolves around Lisa, a resident of Islip Terrace and a program participant, who aims to address her borderline diabetes by adopting a healthier diet. Unfortunately, for many individuals like Lisa, maintaining a healthy diet on a limited budget can be quite challenging.

Fortunately, the Fruit & Veggie Prescription Program steps in to help. It provides a valuable opportunity for diabetics and prediabetics like Lisa to receive essential nutrition lessons from CCE Suffolk educators. Upon successfully completing the course, participants are rewarded with a $20 voucher, allowing them to purchase fresh and nutritious produce. This way, they can put the valuable knowledge they gained into practice and make positive changes to their diets.

Since its launch just last year, the program has made a significant impact, with over 350 individuals benefiting from it. The Fruit & Veggie Prescription Program is available in Brentwood, Wyandanch, Huntington, and Riverhead, making it accessible to those in need across different communities.

Thank you to NewsdayTV and Shari Einhorn for your insightful coverage of this program!

Watch the full story

Summer Meals in Bayshore

The Community Education team joined Bay Shore Schools for their Summer Meals program!

Free summer meals are available for all kids and teens in Bay Shore ages 18 and younger, with no application required to participate. The program also feeds students attending the school's music and theater camps.

Once students received their meals, they headed over to The Community Education Program's booth to discover the significance of nutrition and engage in educational games that solidify their newfound knowledge!

FMNP Farmers Market List

Did you know eligible WIC participants can receive coupons for local farmers markets in addition to their regular WIC benefits?

The Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) was established in 1992 to provide fresh, unprepared, locally grown fruits and vegetables to WIC participants, and to expand the awareness, use of, and sales at farmers markets.

The Community Education Program has compiled a list of participating Suffolk County markets! 

Check it out here

Family Nutrition Fair in Amityville

The Community Education team attended the Family Nutrition Fair in Amityville, organized by Senator Monica R. Martinez' in partnership with Sun River Health. 

During the event, we had the opportunity to share valuable insights and practical tips to promote a balanced and nutritious diet for individuals of all ages. With the growing awareness of the impact of diet on overall health, we emphasized the significance of making informed food choices and maintaining a well-balanced lifestyle!

Nutrition Education at Thera Farms

In collaboration with Thera Farms, CCE Suffolk Community Educators provided nutrition classes outside in the sun, fostering a deeper understanding of healthy eating habits among participants!

The Parent Cafe:

Free Parenting Classes

In today's parenting landscape, establishing a supportive community is paramount for families, providing an avenue to express concerns and acquire invaluable insights.

Find your community at the Parent Cafe!

Through this program, families can access free, research-based educational sessions conducted by expert Parent Educators, Nutrition Educators, Lactation Consultants, and more. As an added treat, gifts and light refreshments accompany these informative gatherings!

Different topics will be covered each week, and certificates of completion will be given to those who attend all programs. Childcare is available!

The in-person Parent Cafe series will be held at the Middle Country Public Library, Fridays from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Learn more and register here

Can’t make the in person session? No worries, virtual sessions of the Parent Cafe are available!

The virtual Parent Cafe series will be held via Zoom on Wednesdays from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm.

Learn more and register here

Thank you to the Cabrini Health Foundation for funding this program to improve the health of mothers and their babies through parenting & nutrition education. Through this partnership, we’re working to support vulnerable parents & children throughout Suffolk County!

Check out some press coverage of this amazing initiative!

Long Island Media Group


Ask the Family Educator

by Maxine Cohen, Parent Educator

How do the “dog days” of summer affect our mental health?

A 2021 review in the journal “Environmental International” provides a link between heat exposure and mental health outcomes. It found a significant increase in hospital and emergency visits due to the deteriorating mental health of individuals during heat waves. Extreme heat contributes to problems related to substance abuse and cognitive impairment (dementia). Older people have the highest risk during heat waves as their bodies are less capable of handling stress. 

A 2022 study in “JAMA Psychiatry” found an 8% increase in ER visits on the hottest days of the year compared to the coolest days. People come to the hospital for help with self-harm, substance use, anxiety, and mood disorders. 

There is some evidence that higher temperatures affect the brain chemicals (serotonin and dopamine) that regulate mood as well as cognitive function. These high temperatures can lead to irritability and feelings of psychological distress which are contributing factors to substance abuse and suicide. Impaired cognitive function is related to dementia.  

When temperatures are extremely hot, our sleep is disrupted, and that can lead to mental health problems, poor mood, frustration, and irritability. 

What can we do? Moderate your activity level under extreme heat conditions. Be sure to hydrate often. It is extremely important to find a way to keep cool when sleeping at night. We are lucky to live in a four-season climate area. Think about fall. With the changing leaves, hopefully the cooler weather will be on its way. 

Suffolk County Farm & 4-H

Volunteers from National Grid

Lend a Hand

A big thank you goes out to the National Grid volunteers who generously dedicated their time staining wood structures at the Farm!

We were fortunate to host these volunteers as part of Project C, an initiative by National Grid aimed at promoting sustainability programs, neighborhood development projects, grants, and other community-oriented endeavors throughout New York State. The volunteers rolled up their sleeves and brightened up our deck and playground equipment.

Learn more about Project C

Early Childhood Coordinator Maia Lewis Interviewed on the Outdoor Classrooms Podcast

Maia Lewis, Early Childhood Coordinator at the Suffolk County Farm & Education Center, appeared on the Podcast to talk about the Little Farmers Preschool!

Listen here

At Little Farmer’s Preschool, children become independent learners through free play, guided exploration, and exposure to all corners of the farm. Students will spend most days entirely outside, with learning themes of agriculture, animal sciences, history, STEM, healthy living, and life skills.

Learn more here


Marine Program Publishes Study on Peconic Bay Scallop Die-offs

A recent article published by CCE Marine Program researchers in the Marine Ecology Progress Series reveals insights into the devastating mass die-off of adult bay scallops in Peconic Bay from 2019 to 2022.

The study highlights a staggering 90-99% decline in the population density of adult bay scallops from spring to fall during the mentioned period. Commercial landings also experienced similar declines, significantly impacting the livelihoods of local fishermen.

The team's findings suggest that changing environmental conditions may be influencing these recurring die-offs, posing additional challenges to successful restoration efforts for the bay scallop population. The Marine Program's restoration efforts have been crucial in jump-starting bay scallop populations, which has been planting scallops in the Peconic Bay since 2006. Despite continued die-offs, the program persists in growing and planting scallops while investigating causes and potential mitigation strategies for these mortality events.

Read the article here

Learn more about the Scallop Restoration Program


Suffolk County Legislature

Takes Tour of SCMELC

We were honored to host members of the Suffolk County Legislature for a tour of the Suffolk County Marine Environmental Learning Center (SCMELC)!

The legislators and guests got an in-depth look at how the Marine Program raises clams, scallops, and oysters from algae production to shellfish spawning to deployment in natural waters. At the conclusion of the tour, the group enjoyed some fresh oysters!

The programs at SCMELC help to repopulate local bays with these important filter-feeders, keeping algae populations in check and providing an important link in the local food web. We are grateful for the opportunity to share our work with the legislators and to show them how SCMELC is making a difference in the environment. We look forward to continuing our work with them to support the sustainability of our local waters.

Learn more about SCMELC here

Sea Stars Marine Campers Visit

Sunken Meadow State Park

Thanks to a grant from the NYS Parks Connect-Kids-to-Parks Field Trip Program, Sea Stars Marine campers will visit Sunken Meadow State Park every Wednesday this summer!

More info on Sea Stars Marine Camp

Donate Here

Your support enables us to continue to be a vital and necessary part of our county’s future. Your gift today helps ensure our programs of tomorrow.

Board Member Spotlight

Janet Sklar, MA, CDN, SNS 

Janet Sklar is a member of the CCE Suffolk Board of Directors, as well as the Chair of the Community Education Program Advisory Committee. New to the Board this year, Christine brings with her a wealth of knowledge in the field of nutrition education.

Janet holds a BA in Food and Nutrition from Brooklyn College and an MA in School and

Community Health from Adelphi University. She is licensed to teach Health (K-12) in NYS and is a NYS Certified Dietitian-Nutritionist. She is also recognized as a National School Nutrition Specialist from the School Nutrition Association (SNA.)

Janet has won numerous NYSNA and NY Agriculture & Markets Partnership Awards for promoting nutrition education and local produce in schools, incorporating wellness policies with improving produce consumption in district buildings, and more. Her career encompasses over thirty years’ experience working in state and local hospitals and schools.

CCE Suffolk takes great pride in having Janet as a vital member of our Board of Directors. We eagerly anticipate harnessing her expertise to broaden our programming horizons!

Upcoming Events

Boater Safety Course: Presented by CCE Suffolk and Legislator Al Krupski

Led by Cpt. Richard Warner, U.S. Coast Guard Master and National Education Director for Safe Boating America, the course is specifically designed to meet the NYS and USCG requirements for PWC Operation (e.g., Jet-ski, Waverunner) and offers Youth and Adult Boating Certification (if applicable).

Upon successful completion of the course, you'll meet the necessary requirements to operate a PWC (i.e., Jet-ski) or, as a youth boater, independently operate a vessel. 

Registration Fee: $85

Learn more/Register

Slow F.I.S.H.

Fundraising Event

Thursday, August 10, 2023, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Join us at the Suffolk County Marine Environmental Learning Center for Slow F.I.S.H, a fundraiser supporting Slow Food East End and Choose Local F.I.S.H!

Enjoy a merroir tasting of oysters, elegantly prepared local fish by Lombardi Catering of Love Lane Market, and a variety of Long Island Wine Country wines while learning all about our local waterways and ecosystems from CCE Marine Program experts.

Established in 2015, Choose Local F.I.S.H (Fresh, Indigenous, Sustainable, and Healthy) aims to promote Long Island seafood and its benefits. Buying local seafood allows consumers to know its origin, supports coastal fishing communities and small businesses, and enhances the economic value of the seafood industry on Long Island. The program collaborates with various members of the seafood industry to expand marketing strategies and boost interest and demand for locally harvested seafood.

Slow Food East End is a chapter of Slow Food USA and part of a global, grassroots organization founded in 1989. The organization works to inspire our community and to partner with like-minded organizations to create a food web that is environmentally sustainable, is healthy and delicious, and celebrates the joys and justice around food that is good, clean and fair.

Learn more and get tickets here

Recipes in a SNAP

Thursday, August 10, 2023, 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Follow along with our very own Nutritionists to learn how to make healthy and delicious meals in a SNAP!

Zoom Link

Password: August

Goat Yoga

Saturday, August 12, 2023, 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Saturday, August 19, 2023, 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Saturday, September 9, 2023, 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM


Enjoy yoga on the farm with our friendly goats. Goat yoga is a fun twist to the more traditional flow. End your day in downward dog while having some laughs. All levels are welcome to goat yoga, but best for ages 8 and up. Taught by certified instructors.

Please bring your own:

  • Yoga mat
  • Water bottle

Learn More/Register

Brewery Lecture Series

Tuesday, August 15, 2023, 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM

Meet the CCE Marine team for casual and fun presentations about our work and learn how you can give Back to the Bays!

Marine Team Expert & Manager of the Marine Meadows Program Kimberly Manzo will be at Westhampton Beach Brewing Co. for a presentation on the team's seahorse initiative

Westhampton Beach Brewing Co. | 220 Roger's Way Westhampton Beach, NY

Learn more/Register

Jr. Marine Biologist

Parent & Me Program

Join us for a fun-filled adventure at our Cranberry Hill Environmental Center as you and your preschooler learn about the marine environment!

Program includes hands-on time with live marine animals, marine activities, and crafts. This is a great way to introduce your child to marine biology!

Learn more/Register

Home Canning Workshops

Saturday, August 19, 2023, 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Saturday, September 9, 2023, 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Saturday, October 14, 2023, 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Saturday, November 4, 2023, 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Learn how to preserve your harvest!

At the Food Preservation Home Canning Workshop, you'll learn essential techniques for water bath canning, freezing, and drying, while ensuring the safety of your preserved goods.

Workshop Schedule and Themes:

July 29th - Mixed Berry Preserves/Jam

August 19th - Cucumber Relish/Dried Blueberries

September 9th - Corn Relish/Peach Jam

October 14th - Bruschetta in a Jar/Raspberry Preserves

November 4th - Apple Sauce/Mom's Apple Pie in a Jar

This workshop will be held at the CCE Suffolk office located at 423 Griffing Avenue in Riverhead. Register by email to Juana Huertas at

Learn more

2023 Soil Health and Climate Resiliency Field Day

Tuesday, September 12, 2023, 4:00 PM - 6:30 PM 

Join us for the Soil Health & Climate Resiliency Field Day, led by CCE Suffolk Agricultural Stewardship Specialist Emily Lindback and Deborah Aller, Extension Associate in the Cornell Soil Health program.

This insightful event on soil health features sessions on soil amendments, climate resiliency, mycorrhizal fungi, and a farmer panel sharing their experiences with compost and cover crops.

Learn more/Register

Fisheries Technician

CCE Suffolk Marine Program

This individual will be responsible for assisting in the planning and implementing various ongoing fisheries projects. They will be responsible for delivering marine educational programs that address local, regional, and statewide programming priorities, emphasizing fisheries demonstrations, research programming initiatives, and community members' education on the importance of fisheries research.

Learn More/Apply Here

View All Employment & Volunteer Opportunities Here

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