Coastal Research and Education Society of Long Island, Inc.

PO Box 54, West Sayville, NY 11796

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Mission Statement
To promote and foster understanding and stewardship of coastal ecosystems through research and education

The Coastal Research and Education Society of Long Island, was founded in the summer of 1996 by a group of experts in marine mammal science, environmental sciences, education and conservation. CRESLI was formed for the purposes of conducting research, providing educational experiences and promoting conservation of coastal ecosystems. Research and education are inextricably linked in all CRESLI activities. As such, CRESLI actively seeks cooperative alliances with researchers, educational institutions, and the participation of the public. Our pinniped and cetacean research projects, for example, utilize public whale watch cruises and seal walks as platforms for collecting data and educating the public at the same time.

Commercial fishers, pleasure boaters, and the public at large have also been enlisted to provide sighting information used in population and distribution studies. This public participation has not only led to the finding that Long Island's coastlines provide a essential habitat for pinnipeds, cetaceans and sea turtles, but has also fostered greater awareness and appreciation of these animals and their habitats among fishers, boaters and the public.

Cooperative alliances with institutions such as Gotham Whale, the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation, The Wildlife Conservation Society; and CERCOM at Molloy College and others are entirely consistent with CRESLI's mission and purpose. The sharing of resources, and coordination of activities, significantly enhances the opportunities for research and public education.

In 2009, CRESLI was elected an affiliate member of the New York Marine Sciences Consortium

The NY Marine Sciences Consortium is “the voice of New York State’s marine science academic com-munity and strives to influence public policy, communicate science, and increase funding for the marine sciences within New York.

CRESLI is now also a member of the Citizen's Advisory Committee (CAC) of the South Shore Estuary Reserve (SSER).

The CAC’s purpose “is to integrate the stakeholder concerns in the planning and decision-making process and to encourage pub-lic education and stewardship.”

CRESLI's Purpose

  • To stimulate public interest in and to encourage conservation of coastal ecosystems through education programs for schools and public and private organizations.
  • To foster a lifelong appreciation of and sense of stewardship towards coastal ecosystems through our programs, outreach activities and membership.
  • To conduct research that will enable greater understanding of coastal ecosystems and to disseminate this information through scientific publications and conferences and meetings.
  • To provide research and educational opportunities to students wishing to pursue educational interests or careers in coastal studies.
  • To support marine mammal and sea turtle stranding programs which respond to stranded marine mammals and turtles with the goal of rehabilitating these animals for release back to the wild.
  • To be a regional, national and international resource on marine mammal, sea turtle and pelagic bird species and their environments for researchers, educators and policy makers.

Research Programs

FIN WHALE STUDIES: Long term photo-identification for population, distribution and behavioral studies. Data are shared with the Fin Whale Consortium, a consortium of researchers analyzing Fin whale populations in the Northern Atlantic.

GREAT SOUTH CHANNEL HUMPBACK WHALE STUDIES: Long term photo-identification for population, distribution and behavioral studies of humpback whales in the Great South Channel. Data are shared with the North Atlantic Humpback Whale Catalogue, and the Gulf of Maine Humpback Group, a consortium of researchers analyzing humpback whale populations in the Gulf of Maine and elsewhere in the North Atlantic.

SPECIES COMPOSITION AND DISTRIBUTION IN THE NEW YORK BIGHT: an ongoing project since 1979 to determine the diversity of cetaceans which utilize this region.

HARBOR AND GREY SEAL STUDIES: Long term photo-identification of harbor and grey seals at Cupsogue Beach and elsewhere for population, distribution studies.


Biographies of CRESLI Board Member

Arthur Kopelman, Ph.D., President

Maria Brown, Vice President

Amanda Johnson, Treasurer

Marshall Brown

Monique Dussault

Brianna Lind

Mike McKenna

Sixto Portilla

Douglas Schmid

CRESLI is a non profit organization as defined in section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code
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