Executive Director Highlight

Nonprofit Leaders Networking Breakfast

It was my pleasure to represent CCE Suffolk at the Nonprofit Leaders Networking Breakfast, held by the Molloy School of Business, Operation Hope, and 100 Hispanic Women of Long Island.

Following the morning's networking session and panel discussion, I had the honor of being selected as the moderator for breakout table discussions, connecting with nonprofit leaders from all over Long Island. Among the topics discussed were fundraising, community outreach, strategic alliances, and more!

Thank you to the organizers for an empowering event!

Selected to Join NYS DEC Regional Advisory Committee

I'm thrilled to share that I have been selected to join the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Regional Advisory Committee!

In my role as a committee member, I'm excited to take part in shaping the Open Space Conservation Plan (OSP). Since its inception in 1992, the OSP has functioned as the guiding framework for New York's Open Space Program. This plan strategically directs the allocation of land protection funds sourced from the Environmental Protection Fund.

I'm sincerely grateful for this remarkable opportunity and look forward to contributing to the OSP's meaningful objectives of protecting water quality, providing accessible outdoor recreation, maintaining critical natural resource-based industries, and much more.

Visiting the Hudson Valley Research Laboratory

I joined Hudson Valley farmers along with members of the Cornell and CCE communities to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Hudson Valley Research Laboratory in Highland, N.Y!

Similar to the Long Island Horticulture Research and Extension Center, the HVRL is focused on timely research and technological innovations to help Hudson Valley growers thrive. Kudos to our Cornell and CCE colleagues as they celebrate a century of accomplishments!

Learn more about the lab's history here

Celebrating 50 Years of Long Island Wine

Myself, Agriculture Program Director Dr. Nora Catlin, Associate Agriculture Program Director Dan Gilrein, and Viticulture Researcher Alice Wise, alongside many valued collaborators, came together to participate in the 50th Anniversary Grand Celebration of Long Island Wine Country!

The event commemorated the establishment of the Long Island wine region, a venture initiated in 1973 by Louisa and Alex Hargrave who planted the inaugural wine grapes.

The CCE Suffolk Grape Program takes immense pride in its role of bolstering this exceptional local industry. Through applied research initiatives and educational opportunities, the program aids winegrowers in maintaining the sustainability of their businesses, both from economic and environmental standpoints. 

Learn more about the CCE Suffolk Grape Program

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

Meeting with

Elaine Fan,

Director of Asian Affairs for the

Governor's Office

CCE Suffolk was delighted to meet with Elaine Fan, Director of Asian Affairs for the office of Governor Kathy Hochul. As Director of Asian Affairs, Ms. Fan presides over policy, communication, and advocacy as it pertains to the Asian communities of New York State.

Also in attendance was Community Education Program Director Zahrine Bajwa, PhD, and Connie Zhu, Nutrition Educator with the Community Education Program. The team engaged in a discussion about potential collaborative opportunities and strategies for leveraging Ms. Fan's office to enhance the expansion of programs and services.

With the aim of strengthening our engagement with the local Asian community, we paid a recent visit to Hephzibah Organic Farm in Riverhead. This farm is renowned for cultivating organic mushrooms. Take a look at the incredible and nutritious mushroom recipe that the Community Ed team shared after our visit!

Don't miss the

2023 Hispanic Heritage Celebration!

Don't miss the 2023 Hispanic Heritage Celebration!

Hosted by Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, the Office of Minority Affairs, and the Suffolk County Hispanic Advisory Board, this event will feature cultural performances, food, and more.

In addition, CCE Suffolk Executive Director Vanessa Lockel will be honored alongside fellow leaders of the Long Island hispanic community!

Parent Cafes

Offered in Spanish

The next series of the Community Education program's Parent Cafes begins soon, featuring sessions in Spanish dedicated to assisting families within our Hispanic communities.

Covering a mix of different topics, this program helps build a supportive community for families to express concerns and acquire invaluable insights. 

Learn more/Más información

Join the Brookhaven Chapter of the League of Women Voters

The Brookhaven League of Women Voters is welcoming new members!

Students can apply for free membership. While these applications are specifically for Brookhaven residents, you can find your local chapters through the

League of Women Voters website.

Apply Here

Life Skills Program at the

Elwood School District

CCE Suffolk Marine's Northwest Suffolk Marine Education team joined forces with the Life Skills Program at the Elwood School District for their Life Skills Program!

The Life Skills Program empowers students with disabilities by equipping them with essential skills for success in life. The class was a fantastic experience, and we can't wait for more to come!

Program Updates


Spotted Lanternfly Update

I’ve spotted a lanternfly - now what?

An invasive new planthopper, spotted lanternfly is now well-established around much of central and western Long Island, including western Suffolk, Nassau, Queens and Brooklyn. If you haven’t seen it in this area yet, you probably will soon!

If you see it in the region, what should you do?

• Don’t worry! The spotted lanternfly isn’t dangerous to people or animals, doesn’t damage structures and can’t survive or breed in homes. It isn’t a killer of landscape plants either, though high numbers stress plants and are an annoyance.

• You can collect the insect in a vial of rubbing alcohol or take a (clear) photo and report the sighting here

NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets is already aware of its prevalence across central and western Long Island, so no need to report findings in these areas. The department's primary focus lies in collecting fresh updates specifically from eastern Long Island, including areas like Yaphank and farther east.

After you have reported SLF in your area and collected a sample, you should kill any additional SLF you see by stepping on it or crushing it.

Learn more about the spotted lanternfly and how to manage it

Dahlia Research Underway

Following an inquiry from the Mid-Island Dahlia Society, Agricultural Stewardship Specialist Emily Lindback and the CCE Agriculture Program have begun researching nitrogen rates in field-grown café au lait dahlia.

The café au lait dahlia, known for its blushing 9-inch flower head, has gained popularity among brides, event planners, photographers, and flower enthusiasts. Classified as decorative dahlias, their large, flat-tipped petals are admired for their impressive color and size.

Operating from two distinct cultivation sites—the Cornell University Long Island Horticultural Research & Extension Center and the North Fork Flower Farm—Emily and her team are diligently exploring appropriate nitrogen levels to promote robust growth in local soils. The insights garnered from this investigation hold significant value for dahlia cultivators across Long Island seeking to enhance the resilience and vitality of their crops while minimizing inputs.

Results from this trial will be posted in Suffolk County Agricultural News, a monthly newsletter from the CCE Agriculture Program.

Learn more about the Agricultural Stewardship Program


Dr. Mark Bridgen!

Congratulations are extended to Dr. Mark Bridgen of the Long Island Horticulture Research and Extension Center, who has been honored with the 2023 Distinguished Achievement Award in Ornamental Plant Breeding from the American Society for Horticulture Science!

Mark's accomplishment stands as evidence of his remarkable contributions, which not only benefit Long Island growers but also propel the advancement of ornamental plant breeding science.

Pest Management Specialist Tamson Yeh Speaks on Pollinator Support with The Daily News

Tamson Yeh, CCE Suffolk Pest Management & Turf Specialist, spoke with The Daily News about lawn mowing best practices and ideas for more permanent measures to support pollinators.

Read here

Viticulture Researcher Alice Wise

Featured in Northforker

Thank you to the Northforker for this wonderful article featuring Alice Wise, CCE Suffolk Viticulture Researcher!

At the Cornell University Long Island Horticultural Research & Extension Center (LIHREC), Alice works on a research vineyard planting and studying uncommon grape varieties. Her findings are instrumental in advising Long Island vineyards, ultimately enhancing the quality of the end product: exquisite Long Island wines.

Read the full article here

Learn more about grape research at LIHREC

Community Education

2023 Parent Education Survey

The Family Health and Wellness team, an integral component of the Community Education program at CCE Suffolk, is committed to enhancing your experience and would greatly appreciate your input!

Please take a few minutes to provide your valuable insights regarding your preferences for parenting and family health workshops. We thank you for your time and answers!

Take the survey here

Check out the Family Wellness Tips Podcast!

From advice on stretching your grocery budget to strategies for getting kids to eat a healthy diet, there's plenty to learn from the Community Education program's Family Wellness Tips podcast!

Listen here

World Breastfeeding Week at the Suffolk County Farm

Arranged by the Northwell Health Peconic Bay Medical Center, the team joined an impressive gathering at the Suffolk County Farm to commemorate World Breastfeeding Day!

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!

Available both online and in-person, the workshops cover different topics each week. Certificates of completion will be given to those who attend all programs.

Childcare is available!

Click the links below to learn more/register!

Online Parent Education

Topics include: Living with Toddlers, Coping with Toilet Learning, Positive Discipline, and more

Online Parent & Nutrition Education

Topics include: Parent Education topics, plus Nutrition for Toddlers & Preschoolers, Breastfeeding Q&As, and more.

In-Person Parent & Nutrition Education

Held at the CCE Suffolk offices in Riverhead:

423 Griffing Avenue, First Floor Meeting Room

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


Diabetes Team Gives Presentation to Suffolk County Legislature

Linda Altenburger, Senior Nutritionist and Program Manager for Diabetes/Human Development, along with Katherine O’Donnell, Diabetes Educator, delivered a presentation about the Diabetes Education component of the Community Education Program. This presentation took place before the Health Committee of the Suffolk County Legislature.

With 10% of Suffolk's residents having received a diabetes diagnosis, and many more potentially undiagnosed, the efforts of this dedicated team play a crucial role in offering vital educational services and programs.

Learn more about CCE Suffolk Diabetes Education


Ask the Family Educator

by Maxine Cohen, Parent Educator

How will my child learn to read in elementary school?

How exciting that a new school year has begun and your child is entering kindergarten! Within the next few years, your child will learn how to read and a whole new world will open up!

Traditionally, there have been two methods of teaching children to read. One is the phonics approach and the other is the whole language approach. Each has enjoyed its time of popularity. In the phonics approach, children are taught to sound out each letter and then blend those sounds together in forming the word. In the whole language approach, the child is encouraged to look at the word as a whole, not as the sounds of the letters. A child makes meaning out of the whole word through figuring out the context of it from reading, listening, and writing.

Over the years, there have been proponents of each approach. In 2022, systematic reviews of these approaches showed that children who were taught reading through the phonics approach in kindergarten and first grade were better at decoding and understanding and spelling words. They continued this ease of reading new words by sounding them out throughout their school years and into adulthood. The whole language proponents emphasize that in order to understand what is being read, a child needs to learn to recognize words automatically. In this way, they can understand meaning and move on. The evidence shows that children start by sounding out most words and then slowly move to more easily recognizing and understanding words automatically.

How can parents help? Children love to be read to, so parents can enlarge their children’s vocabulary by reading to them each day. Learning new words leads to greater understanding when children read by themselves. Children start learning to read with phonics, and continue to learning with whole words as they understand the meaning of more words.

Keep reading to your children and have them read to you. It is a very satisfying experience for all.

Suffolk County Farm & 4-H

4-H National Leadership Visits CCE Suffolk Camps

CCE Suffolk was honored to welcome National 4-H President & CEO, Jill Bramble, for a tour of our camps!

With her were 4-H Leadership members, including Ivan Heredia, Senior VP & Chief Marketing Officer. They explored sites like Sea Adventures Camp, Peconic Dunes Camp, Suffolk County Farm & Education Center, and Sea Explorers Marine Camp.

Suffolk County 4-H fosters environmental and health understanding in youth via a variety of research-based programs. We thank 4-H National Leadership for their visit and for supporting our mission of providing safe, educational, and fun spaces for Long Island's youth.

Special thanks to Shawn Tiede, Cornell Cooperative Extension 4-H Camping Specialist, for his invaluable expertise during the visit!

Suffolk County 4H at the

New York State Fair

A huge congratulations to the members of Suffolk County 4H that competed at this year's New York State Fair!

Hannah Stewart

Grand Master Champion for the overall Meat Goat Showmanship classes 

2nd in Senior Kimber Hamm Goat Rancher Award

2nd in Senior Product ID

4th in High Individual for Senior Goat Bowl

4th in Senior Goat Judging

5th in Senior Knowledge Olympics

6th in Senior Meat Goat Record Book

Kaitlyn Eckles

1st in High Individual for Junior Goat Bowl

1st in Junior Kimber Hamm Goat Rancher Award

1st in Avian Bowl

1st in Poultry Judging

2nd in Junior Product ID

3rd in Junior Knowledge Olympics

3rd in Junior Meat Goat Record Book

5th in Junior Goat Judging

Winner of Funniest Duo, for her chicken’s Colonel Sanders costume

Savannah Roth

4th in Senior Meat Goat Record Book

6th in High Individual for Senior Goat Bowl

6th in Senior Kimber Hamm Goat Rancher Award

7th in Senior Knowledge Olympics

8th in Senior Product ID

9th in Senior Goat Judging

Naomi Berg

1st in Novice Goat Judging

Obadiah Berg

1st in Junior Goat Judging

5th in Junior Meat Goat Record Book

5th in Junior Kimber Hamm Goat Rancher Award

Shay Brennan

1st in Junior Meat Goat Record Book

4th in Junior Kimber Hamm Goat Rancher Award

9th in Junior Goat Judging

Juliana Smith

2nd in Senior Meat Goat Record Book

3rd in Senior Kimber Hamm Goat Rancher Award

6th in Senior Product ID

8th in Senior Goat Judging

10th in Senior Knowledge Olympics

In addition, our Juniors & Seniors placed 4th in Team Goat Bowl, and in Team Goat Judging the Novice Team took 1st, the Juniors placed 2nd, and the Seniors also placed 2nd.

We are also the proud winners of the Herdsmanship Award for the second year in a row! This is awarded to the county with the nicest kept stalls, nicest display, and overall cleanest area for their goats.

New Entryway at the Suffolk County Farm

The Suffolk County Farm has begun use of the new welcome center!

From now on, we kindly request visitors check in at the visitor center marked with a yellow sign. Parking is available on the grass field opposite the building, and you can reach the center by using the designated crosswalk.

Afterward, follow the freshly laid sensory path that leads around the building's left side. This path will guide you to the entrance of the farm, located through the nature exploration classroom!

Check out this video showcasing the new entryway!


Congressman Nick LaLota


Thank you to Congressman Nick LaLota for his visit to the Suffolk County Marine Environmental Learning Center!

During his visit, the Congressman had the opportunity to explore the state-of-the-art hatchery and receive comprehensive updates on the recent developments within the Marine Program.

CCE Suffolk takes pride in our strong connections with our government representatives, and we are truly grateful for the support provided by Congressman LaLota!


Fundraiser Supports

Choose Local F.I.S.H and

Slow Food East End

Our sincere thanks to all who attended the Slow F.I.S.H fundraiser at the Suffolk County Marine Environmental Learning Center!

Attendees learned all about our local waterways and ecosystems from Marine Program experts while enjoying a merroir tasting of oysters, elegantly prepared local fish by Lombardi's Love Lane Market, and a variety of Long Island Wine Country wines!

Established in 2015, Choose Local F.I.S.H (Fresh, Indigenous, Sustainable, and Healthy) aims to promote Long Island seafood and its benefits. 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.

Marine Program

in the News

Several programs and staff members from the Marine Program were featured in the news this month!

Derelict Lobster Trap Removal project featured on NewsdayTV

Since 2010, the Marine Program has been conducting research projects to remove abandoned lobster traps from Long Island Sound ports. These traps not only contribute to marine debris but also continue to catch lobsters, leading to a phenomenon called "ghost fishing," with 20% of recovered traps containing lobsters. About 21,000 derelict traps have been recovered to date.

TBR Newsmedia spoke with Marine Educator & Manager of the New York Horseshoe Crab Monitoring Network Dr. Matt Sclafani on efforts to monitor and protect Long Island horseshoe crabs.

Horseshoe crabs play a vital role in the biomedical industry. The blood of the horseshoe crab contains a protein called Limulus Amebocyte Lysate (LAL) and is used by pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers to test their products for the presence of endotoxins and bacterial substances that can cause fevers and even be fatal to humans. This is critical to maintaining the safety of many drugs and devices used in medical care.

Scienceline interviewed Dr. Stephen Tettlebach, who's work alongside Dr. Bassem Allam of the Stony Brook University School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences explores strategies to restore Long Island scallop populations.

A recent study from the team highlights a staggering 90-99% decline in the population density of adult bay scallops in the Peconic Bay from 2019 to 2022 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, which have been planting scallops in the Peconic Bay since 2006, have been crucial in jump-starting bay scallop populations. Despite continued die-offs, the program persists in growing and planting scallops while investigating causes and potential mitigation strategies for these mortality events.

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

Andrew Lynch

Andrew Lynch is a transportation executive and current Vice President with Hampton Jitney, where he has worked for over 15 years. A dynamic, family-owned business, Hampton Jitney is one of the most readily identified brands on the East End and its iconic service has been running daily for over 45 years.

Prior to Hampton Jitney, Mr. Lynch held positions in strategy, marketing analytics and finance with E*Trade Financial, Digitas, Folio Investing and Pioneer Mutual Funds. He received an MBA from the University of Virginia’s Darden School in 2000 and a BA from St. Lawrence University in 1994.

Andrew has been involved with Cornell’s SPAT program for over 10 years and is engaged with numerous local water quality improvement and monitoring programs in and around Shinnecock bay. He has served on the Quogue Village Beach Nourishment Advisory Committee and is a Trustee of the Shinnecock Yacht Club. He and his wife and daughter live in Quogue.

Upcoming Events

Home Canning Workshops

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:

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

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

Learn more

Goat Yoga

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

Saturday, September 16, 2023, 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Saturday, September 30, 2023, 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Saturday, October 7, 2023, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

+ more

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

Private Sunset Wagon Rides at the Suffolk County Farm

Saturday, September 9, 2023, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Sunday, September 10, 2023, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Monday, September 11, 2023, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Thursday, September 14, 2023, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Friday, September 15, 2023, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

+ more

Experience the farm all to yourself with a private group sunset tour!

The experience includes personal farm tour guides, wagon ride, animal visit, and campfire! Close toed shoes are required to enter goat pens so please dress accordingly. You are more than welcome to bring your own s’mores supplies and non-alcoholic beverages.

$350 per group-Up to 20 participants Children under 3 are free and do not count towards head count. Additional wagon can be purchased for $150.

Please register at least two weeks prior to schedule your group. Don’t wait, dates fill fast!

Learn more

On The Water + In The Field Screening Party

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

On the Water + In the Field is a news magazine show produced by the CCE Suffolk Marine Program, educating the public on current projects, issues, and research pertaining to our marine environment.

The episode to be screened at this event features stories covering topics including shellfish and habitat restoration, integrative art + science efforts, hard clam research, and our Back to the Bays collaboration with the Town of Shelter Island and local partners, including Sylvester Manor Educational Farm! Guests will be invited to mingle with CCE staff and collaborators featured in the show prior to the screening, while enjoying complimentary appetizers and wine.

There is no charge for admission but we would highly appreciate your consideration of a donation of any level in support of the expansion of our Shelter Island Back to the Bays Stewardship Site!

Please note that this will be an outdoor screening event so dress accordingly.

Space is limited, reserve your spot today!

Learn more/Register

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

Farm Campout

Saturday, September 23, 2023, 3:30 PM - Sunday, September 24 @ 9:00 AM

Grab your camping gear and get ready to experience the farm like never before!

Join us on September 23rd for a camping trip with the family. Stroll around the farm and say goodnight to all the animals, take a sunset wagon ride, pick a pumpkin, race to find the end of the corn maze, and end the evening with a movie in the field & bonfire.

Only one person in your group needs to be registered and no more than 6 people per group. If you would like to camp next to another group, you will need to coordinate with the other party before registering to decide which campsites to choose.

$150 per site

Guests are welcome to bring a cooler for food/drinks of their own.

Tent camping only - no RV's or pop-ups.

Bathrooms will be available - there are no showers.

Staff will be available on site overnight.

We ask that you please read through the FAQs on the event registration page before registering!

Learn more/Register

Brewery Lecture Series

Thursday, September 21, 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 & Fisheries Specialist Tara McClintock will be at Kidd Squid Brewing Co. for a presentation on the team's Monkfish marketing project.

Kidd Squid Brewring Co. | 11 Spring St, Sag Harbor, NY 11963

Learn more/Register

Meeting of the

Board of Directors

Wednesday, September 27, 2023, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

The September BOD meeting will be held at the Long Island Horticultural Research and Extension Center (LIHREC):

3059 Sound Ave. Riverhead, NY

Learn more

Family Life Educator

CCE Suffolk Community Education Program

The Family Life Educator is a member of the Human Development team under the Community Education Program. They are responsible for supporting educational program needs, assisting in delivering program goals and objectives, planning, implementing, and evaluating educational programs for adults and youth with a subject matter focus on child & human development, social emotional health, and wellbeing. Work as an Extension Association team member in addressing local, regional, and statewide programming priorities.

This individual represents Cornell Cooperative Extension's Community Education programs to the public, community leaders, government officials, and Cornell University as part of program delivery.

This position is funded by a contract with the Suffolk County Department of Health Services.

Learn More/Apply Here

View All Employment & Volunteer Opportunities Here

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