October 28, 2014

Long Island Sound Report Card

On October 9th, Bill Dennison, Caroline Donovan, and I traveled to New Rochelle, New York, for a meeting on the Long Island Sound Report Card. The Long Island Sound Study includes two working groups, the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC), and the Science and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC). These committees had a joint meeting on October 10th that we participated in, to further the progress of the Long Island Sound Report Card.

This meeting was held in the Town of Mamaroneck, New York, at the Town Center. Mamaroneck is a small town formed in 1788, with a storied history. The meeting occurred in the Town’s Court Room, a different but interesting venue than where we usually meet – complete with metal detector outside the door.

Outside the courtroom, there were many photos, maps, and posters about Mamaroneck’s history.

Outside the courtroom, there were many photos, maps, and posters about Mamaroneck’s history.

Nancy Seligson, the Connecticut Co-Chair of the CAC, gives an introduction to the meeting.

Nancy Seligson, the Connecticut Co-Chair of the CAC, gives an introduction to the meeting.

Bill Dennison led the meeting, and gave some background about what we do at IAN, as well as about environmental report cards.

Bill Dennison discussing the work IAN does.

Bill Dennison discussing the work IAN does.

We covered a wide variety of topics in the meeting, including the Long Island Sound’s reporting region locations, conceptual diagrams, indicators, thresholds, and preliminary indicator scoring. Additionally, we discussed progress on the two embayment report cards, Hempstead Harbor, and Norwalk Harbor and River.

The entire group works to determine the appropriate reporting regions for Long Island Sound.

The entire group works to determine the appropriate reporting regions for Long Island Sound.

Originally there were 4 reporting regions designated. After further discussion, the narrows was split into two reporting regions to give a better delineation between different areas of Long Island Sound.

The original 4 reporting regions.

The original 4 reporting regions.

Additionally, we explored the products of the report card, and how best to release the report card to the public. Most people at the meeting indicated that they would like to have a large rollout of the report card, including press events in both New York and Connecticut, and perhaps even an event aboard a boat on the Long Island Sound itself.

At the end of the meeting, we gave out comment cards to all of the participants to fill out, similar to those used at the Mississippi River Report Card Summit earlier this month. Overall, we had a great, very productive meeting with the STAC and CAC groups in Mamaroneck. Next steps include compiling the comments we received, as well as finalizing the report card indicators, thresholds, and scoring. We are excited to see the report card evolve and develop over the next few months!

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About the author
Alexandra Fries is a Science Communicator at the Integration and Application Network. Alex has a Master of Environmental Management from Duke University.
Website: http://ian.umces.edu/people/Alexandra_Fries/
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