The Strandline


New York State Marine Education Newsletter

November 2016

Strandline (n): the high water mark; the area at the top of a beach where debris is deposited.


President's Note

  NYSMEA members enjoying a conference workshop at SUNY Stony Brook Southampton


Fall Greetings NYSMEAns,

The 38th annual NYSMEA conference at SUNY Stony Brook Southampton College provided amazing speakers, delicious food, interesting field trips, eager students and motivated educators. The conference participants gave off a very positive energy all day long. Exciting field trips included a tour of the Southampton High School's very impressive marine laboratory and planetarium facilities. Many members boarded the boat, RV Peconic for a tour of Shinnecock Bay while trawling, testing water quality and sampling at bottom sediments. 

Keynote speaker Dr. Christopher Gobler presented his research on algal blooms and the effects on Long Island coastal watersChris Paparo, the morning keynote speaker, lead the RV Peconic boat trip, gave a tour of the new state of the art marine research lab and presented on local Long Island species. NYSMEA Workshop presenters received great reviews and included presentations on: Ocean Conservation Policy, Sharks 4 Kids, Stray Tropical Fishes, Harbor Seal Study, Marine Pollution and Rain Garden School Programs. Congratulations to NYSMEA awardees Gene Ritter, Beth Ritter, Joel Teret and Betty Borowsky

NYSMEA participated in the International Coastal Cleanup at Kaiser Park partnering with the New York City Department of Education, American Littoral Society, Ocean Conservancy, New York Aquarium and New York Department of State. It was an unusual day as a sewage contamination leak into Coney Island Creek was detected.  We were asked not go near the water for safety reasons. Many educators, exhibitors and students came to participate in the activities planned for the day.  The marine education event was turned into a day of marine environmental awareness day. The community, schools, elected officials and students received press coverage and asked for answers to the sewage contamination. 

NYSMEA members Thomas Greene and Blanca Ching organized the bi-annual Denyse Wharf Cleanup along the shores of Fort Hamilton. This coastal cleanup brings awareness to local coastal issues and the need for a local marine science lab center. 

Special thanks to Sarah Richards and the conference committee for all of their hard work putting together a wonderful conference!


Lane Rosen

NYSMEA President

 Save the Dates!
Saturday November 19th Youth Ocean Conservation Summit the main campus at Stony Brook University, Click Here for Details!
Sunday, December 4th, NYSMEA Annual Holiday Party and Lecture at Tackapausha Museum
2225 Washington Avenue Seaford, NY 11783  Board meeting 3:00-5:00 Dinner and speaker 6:00-9:00  Please RSVP via the website registration form.
or ask questions at
Holiday Party Title: What’s up with the water?
Description: What’s happening to Long Island’s waterways and drinking water supply? What’s being proposed to address it? What can we do to help?
Speaker Carl LoBue is the Senior Marine Scientist for The Nature Conservancy’s Long Island program.  Carl is part of a team of natural scientists, social scientists, analysts, communications and policy experts that are working to restore and protect beaches, bays, and natural areas.  Recently Carl’s largest responsibilities have been aimed at addressing Long Island’s nitrogen pollution problem which is negatively impacting the health of bays and harbors as well as the integrity of Long Island’s only source of clean drinking water.  

NYSMEA is seeking a new SCONYC Board Representative.
Please contact Lane Rosen at for details

British Invasion Re-enactment
By Thomas Greene-Friends of Denyse Wharf


Denyse Wharf is landmark property that sits at the mouth of the Hudson River on the Fort Hamilton Army Garrison. The Battle of Brooklyn commenced here at the beginning of the Revolutionary War on August 27, 1776On August 27 of this year, the Waterfront Alliance, a coalition of 900 organizations, celebrated this historic event with a re-enactment of the British invasion.

The Friends of Denyse Wharf participated in this celebration, and followed it up on Oct 23 with its 27 th bi-annual beach clean-up. Students from the local schools, with permission from the Army, and with a dumpster provided by the DEP, cleared the beach of tires, driftwood, plastics, glass and metal. 

Beautifying this historic site, and encouraging students to participate in marine environmental science activities, are the two main objectives of Friends of Denyse Wharf.  Certificates of community service were issued to 90 students for their clean-up efforts. The results of water quality testing and oyster gardening in Lower New York Bay were on display as evidence of student stewardship.

Friends of Denyse Wharf continue to advocate for an environmental science lab at Denyse Wharf, with an adjoining pedestrian space containing commemorative historical plaques. The general publiccan observe students engaged in hands- on activities related to real world problems in water pollution, global warming and climate change. 

With the 69th St.  Eco Dock facility being out of commission, Friends of Denyse Wharf would be willing to provide environmental activities at Denyse Wharf, subject to Army approval, while the Eco Dock is undergoing repairs. We are requesting the “powers that be” to fund the cost of a small steel container to store lab equipment. The storage shed can be conveniently placed in a small unused space outside the entrance to Denyse Wharf. Students from local schools, captivated by the marine environment, would be highly motivated to learn basic science lab skills and environmental literacy mandated by the NY State Dept. of Education. 
Contact: Thomas Greene, Coordinator, Friends of Denyse Wharf, 9437 Shore Road Apt E2 Brooklyn, NY 11209   phone: 718-833-0102; e-mail: Facebook page: Friends of Denyse Wharf

Alan Winick, Inventor Extraordinaire 
By Joel Teret-NYSMEA 2016 Founders Awardee

Lou Seigel Presenting the 2016 Founders Award to Joel Teret


NYSMEA members who attended the Annual Conference held in 2009 at Stony Brook Southampton, might remember observing and entering a one person “yellow submarine” placed on an automobile trailer in the parking lot outside Chancellors Hall. It was the highlight of the conference. The submarine was named Explorer by its inventor Alan Winick, who described its history in a workshop that preceded its viewingAlan started dreaming about building his own submarine around 1969 when he was 13-years old, being inspired by the Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau and the Apollo Space Program. He was fascinated by the notion of creating an exotic vehicle to explore hostile environments”. Alan first attempted to build a submarine in 1974 in his bedroom of his family’s second floor Brooklyn apartment. He built the hull in two pieces “so it could fit in the elevator”. However, in 1976, he abandoned the project because in its current state of construction, Alan felt that there was a real danger that its inhabitant might drown and that he needed to perform further research on the engineering of his conceptual design. In 1998, after an extensive period of trial and error, Alan was successfully able to construct and deploy Explorer. Alan’s sons Zack and Ian helped him both in outfitting the submarine and as support divers during its launch and recovery. 


Most of Explorer’s dives have been conducted in Long Island Sound. Explorer has a depth capability of 350 feet in seawaterIts deepest dive to date is 120 feet. It has a life support (O2/CO2) of 17 hours and its thruster operation is approximately 3 hours.



Publicity about the submarine led to Alan being asked to host a proposed new marine science series called SPLASH slatedto be aired on public television. Alan worked on SPLASH for several years travelling with its producers and shopping its content. Unfortunately, the producers were unable to secure the full funding needed for the project and it was discontinued. However, the directors of The Discovery Museum in Bridgeport, CT were so impressed by the SPLASH project and Explorer that they offered Alan a “temporary” teaching position which lasted 13 years and displayed the submarine as a working exhibit. 


As Alan “fell in love with formal science education” through teaching the K-12 science program at the museum, he further developed its curriculum and laboratory content. He was “particularly interested in the challenges and solutions shared by both undersea and space exploration”. And he was able to secure more than $3 million in grants to support the program. During Alan’s tenure at the museum, his team was able to secure a seat aboard a NASA launch vehicle for its own CubeSat, a project that is still ongoing. 


Explorer was also on exhibit at The Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, Connecticut from 1998-2002 when Alan was a part-time informal science instructor there, since he was not a certified teacher.


Currently, the submarine is on loan to the University of Bridgeport Graduate School of Engineering and is being used as a teaching tool and experimental program. 


In 2008, Alan was nominated for membership in The Explorers Club. Alan feels that, “It is truly humbling to be able to rub elbows with some of the most accomplished and renowned explorers of our time”. He says that one of the highlights of his career occurred when he was invited to give a talk at the Club about the development and construction of Explorer. Soon after, the submarine was featured as an exhibit at thExplorers Club Annual Dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. It was a natural fit, Explorer and the Explorers Club. Alanopines that, “It was quite entertaining to watch gentlemen in tuxedos and ladies in high heels and long gowns negotiating the ladder for a chance to be photographed in the open hatch”.



In 1999, Alan began to develop his prototype of a mechanically animated tide clock which he first placed in the sandy soil beneath his family’s house in Westport, Connecticut,which was located almost directly on the water. The tides were of particular interest to Alan especially “when a good solid Nor’easter blew in and the sea would occasionally come leaping at our front steps.” This tide clock did more than just display the hours of the next tide. It had a proprietary movement that caused the “water” in a picture in the clock to rise and fall in real time with the actual tide.  Alan began to refine the design of the clock and then placed it in his kitchen. When guests to his home saw it, and made positive comments about its design, Alan made the decision to devote his full time to making his tide clocks. And a small business, which Alan called Tidepieces was born. Itscatalogue ( offers 35 different standard designs as well as custom designs, each of which allows itsowner to in effect, “keep the vast, immensely powerful ocean miniaturized in a box that can be hung in a home or business environment. Alan builds them by hand in his studio in Westport, CT. In addition, Alan has been commissioned to develop larger pieces for public spaces. His tide clocks are now sold all over the world.



In 2014, Alan left the museum to devote his energies to his passion for invention and TidepiecesHe says, I’m immensely grateful for the inspiration and support I’ve had from my wife, Pamela, and from the teachers and mentors who share a love of science and exploration. I’m grateful that I’ve had the chance to share my own passion for science with audiences of all ages, hopefully instilling in them the notion that science is not just for scientists; it’s simply part of being human. And I’m grateful that I can now make my living creating and building useful things and that I finally have a legitimate reason to drive a pickup truck.”

Alan says that, “The inspiration for the whole thing goes back to that elemental love of the sea I developed at Sheepshead Bay High School”. I was privileged to be Alan’s teacher there in 1970 and in 1973 when he was a docent at the New York Aquarium.


Joel Teret

NYSMEA 146 Suffolk Hall Stony Brook, NY 11794 Phone: 631-632-9216 
NYSMEA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization 

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NYSMEA 146 Suffolk Hall Stony Brook, NY 11794 Phone: 631-632-9216 
NYSMEA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization 

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New York State Marine Education Association · Tom Greene, Physical Science Dept. Kingsborough Community College · 2001 Oriental Blvd. · Brooklyn, NY 11235 · USA

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