In This Issue

Organization Highlights

Board Member Spotlight

Ask the Family Educator


Upcoming Events

In The Press

Local Fish Recipe

Out In Your District

Career Opportunities

Donate to CCE-Suffolk

Message from our Executive Director

Enjoy this update and find out what we have been up to and what is coming up this month. All of us here at CCE-Suffolk are focused on INNOVATION this year – innovation in our tasks, our programs and our organization as a whole! This first quarter we are looking at Innovation through a lens of an internal review… how we do things, how the structure of our organization functions. I am excited to see where our discoveries bring us!


Lots happening around CCE-Suffolk! Our Team is busy reaching out to all our friends in government and welcoming our newly elected! It is my pleasure to be a part of a prestigious group strategizing for the future of Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences – keep an eye on our social media for updates! Great to see our board members at our first meeting last month. Thank you to each of these dedicated individuals for their expertise and support throughout the year. We will be featuring our members in this newsletter so you can get to know each of them! 


Thank you and Enjoy!

~Vanessa Pino Lockel

It's Black History Month

Throughout the month of February, CCE is celebrating Black History Month! 


Black History Month has existed as a way to educate others on and appreciate everything African Americans have contributed to society over the years. At CCE-Suffolk, we know that all of our community members are what help make Suffolk County and Long Island a great place to live. This includes the Black community, as they continue to aid in our missions of preserving our ecosystem and supporting families across the county through community education. 


Click here to read more about our efforts


Program Highlights

Our Marine Program Taste of Local Fish at PJ Harbour Club in Port Jeff was successful! The entire Choose Local Fish initiative did an excellent job planning and executing this event. Participants were able to experience the tastes of local fish through the talents of PJ Harbour's chef. 

The collaboration with Eating with the Ecosystem proved to be a winning combination with their virtual cooking series. This week, they will be hosting the next installment in the Cook a Fish, Give a Fish series. Hatchery season begins at SCMELC, spawning starting on Valentine's Day (picture of spawning below). Marine camps registration is now open for all participants. For more information, click here.

Suffolk County Farm 4-H has also opened up registrations for their upcoming camps opening for little ones. They will be offering enrichment opportunities for high school students with a unique Veterinary Medicine Career Exploration Program. The winter months and snowstorms give our staff extra farm work, especially after the last blizzard. Thank you to all the staff that worked hard to keep the animals, participants, and staff safe. 

The Family Wellness team has continued its outreach to our community through free virtual online workshops on parenting, potty training, feeding, and aging. They also have been sharing with staff relevant topics that make working through a pandemic easier. Be sure to check out their parenting podcast!

Our Nutrition and Diabetes Team is getting ready for Nutrition month in March. Our educators delivering programs virtually will be restarting in-person programming at Boces. Virtual programs offered in Spanish and English will continue to be available to the community for the rest of the month.

The Agriculture and Gardening Program is gearing up for another Spring Gardening school evolving this year as the "Spring Trio." Read below more about this special event and the stakeholders that help make it a success. Last year's Spring Gardening School was a massive success at max capacity. This year we are hoping to create the same value for all participants.  


Board Member Spotlight-

Mark Cisz

Mr. Cisz currently serves as President of the Board of Directors of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County, board member of the Education Foundation for Suffolk County Extension and previously held a Trustee seat for The New York Landmarks Conservancy.

Mark Cisz is a Managing Director in J.P. Morgan’s Corporate and Investment Bank. He is currently responsible for the Global Market Structure and Broker-Dealers sectors and is based in New York.

Mr. Cisz joined J.P. Morgan in 1997 after graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University’s Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management. He remains active with Cornell through his continued involvement with Cornell University Council, the Cornell Alumni Advisory Board, the Cornell Parents Committee, the President’s Circle Committee, as well as the Cornell Alumni Admissions Ambassador Network.

Thank you, Mark, for your dedicated service to CCE-Suffolk!

Ask the Family Educator

With Valentine’s Day approaching, what can I do to be happy in love and life?

This intriguing question has been asked and studied during the past 80 years by a research team at Harvard University. The findings are fascinating! The “secret” to a long and healthy life is finding and nurturing relationships.

People who have more social connections are happier, physically healthier, and live longer. This makes sense as loneliness can be devastating, and the intense feeling of isolation causes brain function to decline sooner. Loneliness also lessens happiness which can eventually lead to a shorter life span.

In a good marriage, life is not rosy all the time. Couples argue and that is to be expected. It is the quality of the overall marital relationship that sustains most people and fills their needs of connection, understanding, and love. To maintain a loving marriage, we need to show mutual respect, trust, and commitment.

Friends are important too, especially as we reach advanced age. We need to nurture these special positive relationships with family and friends. The quality of our health and well-being, as well as the length of our life span, depend on these satisfying and mutually beneficial connections.

Click here to email a question to our Parent Educator


Master Gardener Volunteers and Upcoming Spring Trio

We want to send out a special thanks to a special stakeholder -our Master Gardener Volunteers (MGV). MGV's are stewards of our coastal environment and neighbors teaching neighbors about horticultural topics and environmentally sound gardening practices.

A Master Gardener completes the CCE-Suffolk training course, volunteer 125 hours within a 2-year period, and remain active by volunteering at least 30 hours each year after graduation.

Master Gardeners have gone on to share their knowledge with our communities by creating community, rain, and butterfly gardens. You can see their impact at the LI Dahlia Society, Bayard Cutting Arboretum, Quogue Elementary School, LI Maritime Museum, Riverhead Courthouse, Suffolk County Farm and many other places.

Anyone who enjoys gardening, has a desire to share knowledge and skills, and who is willing to provide volunteer community service is encouraged to apply for this rewarding program.

Click here if you are interested in becoming a Master Gardener.

Some of our Master Gardeners play vital role in the planning, organizing, and executing of our upcoming Spring Trio. This year the Spring Trio will be broken down into three weekends.

  1. March 19th- Virtual Workshop "Garden Lens" with Rick Darke.
  2. March 26th- Virtual Spring Gardening School with NY Times writer Margaret Roach and other presenters.
  3. April 30th- In person Garden Workshops at Suffolk County Farm.

Unlike other gardening learning program, CCE-Suffolk's Spring Trio connects participants illustrious presenters and quality educational material. NYSED Continuing Education Credits will be available for Landscape Architects.

Click here to Register for the Spring Trio

Upcoming Events


  • 2022 Virtual NYS Greenhouse Grower School
  • Winter Seed Sowing
  • 2022 Long Island Vegetable Grower Meeting
  • Happy House Plants
  • DEC Updates for Ornamental Horticulture
  • Parks for All: Frederick Law Olmsted

Click for more events

Suffolk County Farm/ 4-H

  • Valentine's Day at the Farm
  • PUPentine's Day
  • Veterinary Career Exploration
  • Winter Farm Days

Click for more events

Community Education

  • Babycafe
  • Parenting Style: Your Style Makes a Difference
  • Preschooler Talk
  • Toddler Talk
  • Charlas de Nutricion
  • Keeping your Brain Healthy as you Age
  • Cyberbulling: what you need to know
  • De La Granja a Su Mesa
  • Farm to Table
  • Essential Steps to Healthy Aging

Click for more events


  • Cook A Fish, Give a Fish
  • Snapper Inn Valentine's

Click to for more events

In The Press

Northforker- Back to the Bays Initiative

Check out profile from the Northforker shows how the mission of our Back to Bays Initiative is alive through partnerships with local restaurants and upcoming events.

Click Here to Read More

Fish Fry with Chipotle Mayo

by: Stefanie Sacks, MS, CNS, CDN


  • 1.5 lbs. dogfish fillet, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon salt, to clean fish
  • 1 lemon, to clean fish
  • 2 cups vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 cup chick pea flour
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon white or black pepper


  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle in adobo, minced
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, rough chop
  • 1 lime, juiced


  1. To clean fish, place in large bowl and cover with cold water. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and juice of one lemon. Mix with your hands (or a wooden spoon) and let sit for one minute. Then rinse filet under cold water and place on a clean, dry side towel or layered paper towel. 
  2. Place the large fillet on a cutting board and shave the flesh with a sharp knife into pieces that are no more than 1/4” thick. Place on a plate or bowl as you cut. 
  3. In a bowl, combine flour with paprika, salt and pepper and mix well. 
  4. In a large pan, heat oil on medium. Preheat for about 3-5 minutes. 
  5. Generously coat each piece of fish with the flour mixture then gently place in hot oil. Cook until golden on each side (about 3-4 minutes per side). Prepare a plate or other flat surface with layered paper towel and place finished fish on the surface. 
  6. For the chipotle mayo, combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Serve fish straight up with a dollop of mayo with a side of roasted potatoes and some slaw.

Click to see more Local F.I.S.H Recipes

Out In Your District


Abandoned Lobster Trap was the topic during our meeting with Legislator Sara Anker. Our team presented our efforts in cleaning up our waters by removing these damaging traps.

Thank you to Senator Mario R. Mattera, Senator Phil Boyle, Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick, Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. (pictured above), Senator Jim Gaughran, and Assemblyman Steve Englebright for meeting with us as part of a statewide Cornell Cooperative Extension effort to speak with our state representatives about the importance of our state lines of funding.

We participated in the 'State of the Budget Address' hosted by NY Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez. Our work has a meaningful rippling impact that reaches far from Suffolk.

The Governors Executive Chamber invited us to a conversation about Plum Island. Efforts to conserve and increase the sustainability of this island is of great importance to our association.

Our Team met with Suffolk Legislator Al Krupski with district updates that included Peconic Dunes camps that are now open for registration.

Camp Diabetes Nurse

Serve as a diabetes camp nurse for our 4-H camps. Find more information about this and other positions below.

See all open positions here
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