Marine Education

Youth Education Programs

Our goal is to educate the public about critical marine issues, so we can develop a local community of stewards of all ages who will protect our waterways and ocean on Long Island for years to come.   

By engaging with our local youth, we foster a caring connection between children and their coastal environment, creating future generations of coastal stewards.  

We are now offering field trips to the Marine Environmental Stewardship Center (MESC) in cooperation with the Town of Brookhaven, where students can learn about Long Island ecology through hands-on study, as outlined below. The center is home to touch-screen technology along with outdoor touch tanks, allowing students to gain first-hand comprehensive experience for learning about the marine environment.  

CSLI also hosts the Long Island Youth Ocean Conservation Summit each year at Stony Brook University. The Summit is a day full of opportunities for attendees to meet representatives from ocean conservation organizations, listen to presentations, and develop their own conservation action plans.

Marine Education Programs


The following programs will be available for school groups:

  • Discovering and Identifying Organisms in the Salt Marsh – By using the seine net, cast net, and dip net, marine organisms will be collected by students and identified. We will catch and release. Waders will also be available.
  • Nature Walk and Tour of the Marine Environmental Stewardship Center – Discover Long Island marine life through indoor exhibits, such as interactive touch screens, simulated touch screen submarines, salt water aquariums with live native marine life, and more. Explore outdoor exhibits, walk the boardwalk, and view native plants. Experience touch tanks. Visit the shellfish facility and learn how the shellfish are raised from seed, protected, and in turn protect the marine environment.
  • The “Home Run” – Four different sites are set up. Depending on the age group and the objectives of the teacher, choose from one to all four of the following:
    - Collecting and Identifying Marine Organisms, Including Water Analyses
    - Tour of the Marine Environmental Stewardship Center
    - Shellfish Hatchery and Discussion of Clam and Oyster Mariculture
    - Identification of Microscopic Plankton*

*Prior knowledge of the use of the microscope is essential for plankton identification.  

Each of these programs will be offered at the Marine Environmental Stewardship Center in Mount Sinai.
If you are interested in our programs, please contact us for more information and registration details. 

Lesson Plans


In addition to our education programs, CSLI has created and gathered over 100 lesson plans to help children learn about marine environmental issues, ecology, anatomy, oceanography, and much more. 

To view our lesson plans, click on one of the categories below: 

Current Issues in our Oceans

Estuarine Ecology

Food Chains & Food Webs


Life Cycles

Long Island Sound and Shellfish 

Corals and Habitat Monitoring 

Public Outreach

Before each beach cleanup, we provide a talk discussing the threats posed to wildlife from the many household items we use on a daily basis that often end up as litter on our beaches. Similarly, garbage left in our roadways ends up in storm drains, ultimately leading back to the ocean. It is our mission to prevent pollution, both on and off the sand. 

In our Shellfish Restoration Program, we help to educate the public about the lifecycle of oysters, and the process we use for growing and seeding oysters in our local harbors to regenerate their populations. Our knowledgeable staff will walk you through any questions you may have, and illuminate how shellfish play a vital role in our marine ecosystem.