Executive Director Highlight


Roundtable Session

I was honored to receive an invitation to an Environmental Roundtable hosted by Senator Anthony Palumbo alongside Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr., Assemblywoman Jodi Giglio, and Assemblyman Ed Flood.

As in years past, the Environmental Roundtable serves as a platform for elected officials, local stakeholders, and environmental advocates to exchange insights and recommendations aimed at enhancing the protection of Long Island's environment and natural resources. These discussions play a pivotal role in shaping legislative agendas.

We express our sincere appreciation to the elected officials who orchestrated this significant event and are grateful for the inclusion of our organization.

Meeting with Alicia McGrath, CEO of the Center for Family Support

I had the privilege of meeting with Alicia McGrath, who recently became CEO of the Center for Family Support.

The Center for Family Support has provided support services to individuals living with intellectual and developmental disabilities since 1954, widely recognized as one of the pioneering human service agencies in the New York metropolitan area and New Jersey. 

Ms. McGrath, who previously served as Executive Vice President of Mission Programs at Goodwill NY-NJ, is a valued partner of CCE Suffolk, and I am proud to also work with her at the 100 Hispanic Women Long Island Program!

District Overviews with Local Officials

Thank you to Legislator Jim Mazzarella, Legislator Chad Lennon, Legislator Jason Richberg, and Amityville Mayor Dennis Siry for meeting with myself and staff to showcase the impact of CCE Suffolk on our communities and to generate ideas tailored to meet the specific needs of your districts!

As a non-profit, sub-governmental association, CCE Suffolk depends greatly on its collaborations with local government bodies to maximize the varied research conducted by our educators, offering counsel and remedies in communities where they are most impactful. We genuinely appreciate the chance to evaluate our current programs and offerings, while also conveying our goals for 2024 and beyond!

Marine Program Director Chris Pickerell with Mayor Dennis Siry and Legislator Jason Richberg.

Marine Program Director Chris Pickerell, Legislator Jim Mazzarella, Exeuctive Director Vanessa Lockel, and Clean Energy Coordinator August Ruckdeschel.

Legislator Chad Lennon with Executive Director Vanessa Pino Lockel, Suffolk County Farm Administrator/ Suffolk County 4-H Youth Development Director Vicki Fleming, and Diabetes/Human Development Program Manager Linda Altenburger.


(Diversity, Equity, Inclusivity, and Belonging)


Happy Lunar New Year!

The Lunar New Year is a significant festival celebrated in China and other Asian countries. It marks the beginning of the lunar calendar and lasts for 15 days, starting with the first new moon and ending on the first full moon of the lunar year.

Learn more about Lunar New Year celebrations through this great presentation by CCE Suffolk Nutrition Educator Connie Zhu!

Vanessa Talks 100 Hispanic Women with En Vivo 93.3FM

Vanessa made another appearance on En Vivo 93.3FM, one of Long Island's largest Spanish-speaking radio stations.

Joined by host John Gutierrez, Vanessa discussed her VP position at the 100 Hispanic Women Long Island Program, as well as Bloom, the collaborative wellness event the group holds with CCE Suffolk, planned for this May.

Meeting with the

Unkechaug Nation

CCE Suffolk program leaders recently met with Barry Miller, Unkechaug land trustee, to discuss how our programs and servies can be effective in Unkechaug communities.

Located on the Poospatuck ("where the waters meet") Reservation in Mastic, the Unkechaug ("People from beyond the hill") Nation maintains a sovereign relationship with the State of New York, other Indian Nations in the United States and Canada, and other foreign powers.

Azul's 2024 Rising Leaders Initiative

Do you want to advance environmental justice and develop leadership skills? Check out Azul's Rising Leaders Initiative, a leadership development program that aims to equip emerging Latinx leaders to become ocean champions and advocate for ocean policy.

The Association of National Estuary Programs is sharing this opportunity via our local partner, the Peconic Estuary Partnership.

Program includes:

  • Week-long program in Washington, D.C., to celebrate World Ocean Day from June 2, 2024, to June 8, 2024.
  • Virtual workshops in English & Spanish
  • Meetings with congressional offices and federal agencies in DC
  • $1,200 stipend
  • Graduation reception and a life-long network of environmental justice advocates

Learn more

Explore the CCE Suffolk Spanish

Facebook and Instagram Pages!

Discover information about upcoming events and workshops conducted in Spanish, receive valuable health tips and tricks, and more!



Program Updates


Cicada Buzz This Spring: Everywhere But Long Island (This Year!)

There has been lots of buzz in the press noting “trillions” of periodical cicadas (both 13-year and 17-year species) that are expected to appear late this spring from Broods XIX and XIII (respectively).

Sorry to disappoint our Long Island followers who eagerly anticipate a dramatic and unique experience, but you’ll need to travel to parts of the Midwest and Southeast US in late spring to immerse yourself in this awesome phenomenon. 

2024 is unique in having two very large cohorts of all 7 periodical cicada species emerging around the same time over a large area, though it’s unlikely the two groups will overlap much if at all. Around peak emergence, the males of these cicadas will fill the air with their hollow, buzzing calls. They’ll be active for just a few short weeks before the new generation takes over and, depending upon the species, emerge after another 13 or 17 years.

These gentle insects are quite docile and harmless to humans and domestic animals, feeding only on plant sap from the roots and twigs of their host plants. To read more about cicadas, this amazing event, and where they’ll be, visit &

Closer to home, Long Island’s next 17-year periodical cicada ‘event’ will be late spring 2025 when Brood XIV appears again (more info here). Populations will be much smaller and likely isolated to just a few communities around eastern and central Suffolk.

Be careful not to confuse periodical cicadas with our later emerging ‘dog day’ cicadas, which appear in low numbers and are heard in mid to late summer, or with locusts which are unrelated insects.

Miller Place STEAM Night

The Agricultural Stewardship Program was at Andrew Muller Primary School for STEAM Night! The team performed a soil demonstration for attending students.

STEAM Nights give Miller Place students and families the opportunity to explore Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics initiatives with local organizations.

Visit to Route 27 Hemp Yard

Executive Director Vanessa Pino Lockel and Agriculture Program Director Nora Catlin took a visit to Route 27 Hemp Yard in Moriches, getting the lowdown on the farm and all they have to offer!

The 12 acre farm grows both greenhouse and outdoor hemp, blending modern farming methods with traditional practices.

Did you know New York’s hemp growers have an incredible resource in The Cornell University Hemp Group? This group of researchers and extension educators works to stay up to date on current research and regulations, offering guidance for producers growing or considering growing hemp. Learn more here

Learn more about Route 27 Hemp Yard here

Upcoming Northeastern IPM Sessions

The Northeastern Intergrated Pest management (IPM) Center has two upcoming educational sessions that may be useful to local producers:


"The Use of IPM in Beekeeping to Control Parasitic Varroa Mites"

March 11th | 11:00 AM 

Register here

"Kosher, Halal and Insects: How Do They Relate?"

Mar 25th | 11:00 AM 

Register here

Shop Local!

Many local farm stands are still open and offering amazing produce!

Whether you're looking for fruit, vegetables, dairy, or baked goods, there's sure to be a location that has what you need.

Check out our Farm Stand List for all of your farm-fresh produce! 

View here

This list has been compiled by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County as a service to Suffolk County residents and farmers. If you would like your farm stand to be included, or if you have any changes or corrections, please contact the Agriculture Program at [email protected].

Leadership Opportunities at New York Farm Bureau and Friends of Georgica Pond Foundation

Both the New York Farm Buerau and Friends of Georgica Pond Foundation are seeking indviduals to apply for avaiable Chief Exeutive Officer and Executive Director positions, respectively:

The Friends of Georgica Pond Foundation works to restore and preserve the Georgica Pond ecosystem in East Hampton for future generations through science-based, watershed-wide policy and restoration. The Executive Director will lead the day-to-day operations of the organization, including all administrative, fundraising, communications and community engagement efforts. 

Learn more

Those interested in applying can contact Elly Kirschner ([email protected])

The New York Farm Buraeu a non-governmental, volunteer organization financed and controlled by member families for the purpose of solving economic and public policy issues challenging the agricultural industry. Reporting to the Board of Directors, the CEO is responsible for the overall strategic planning and operations of New York Farm Bureau. This leader will establish a vision in partnership with the Board and staff and will successfully deliver results for a multitude of programs.

Learn more

Community Education

Fruit & Veggie Prescription Program Partners with Stop & Shop and AboutFresh

Our Fruit & Veggie Prescription Program got a major boost thanks to Stop & Shop and AboutFresh!

Participants in the Fruit & Veggie Prescription Program, comprising diabetes patients undergoing treatment at any of the eleven Sun River Health clinics throughout the county, can earn vouchers for free fruits and vegetables by attending nutrition workshops led by a certified CCE Suffolk Nutrition Educator. These workshops, offered in both English and Spanish, aim to empower participants with the knowledge and skills necessary for making healthier food choices and managing their condition through a balanced diet.

Previously, patients received produce vouchers for redemption at select locations. With the introduction of Fresh Connect technology, participants will now receive prepaid debit cards valid at all 49 Stop & Shop stores on Long Island, greatly improving access to nutritious food. This collaborative project was officially launched at Stop & Shop in Deer Park.

A heartfelt thank you to our partners at Stop & Shop and AboutFresh for their invaluable support!

Special thanks also to the elected officials who graciously attended our kick-off event:

  • Town of Babylon Supervisor Rich Schaffer
  • Suffolk County Legislator Tom Donnelly
  • Babylon Town Councilman DuWayne Gregory
  • Representative of State Senator Monica R. Martinez
  • Representative of State Assemblywoman Kimberly Jean-Pierre

Employee Wellness at

Middle County Public Library

In recognition of February being American Heart Month, stafff from the Community Education program hosted nearly 30 employees for a tasting event, sampling delicious Vegetable Barley/Lentil Soup and providing heart healthy lifestyle tips to protect heart disease. 

Rethink Your Drink at

Jason's Laundromat

Educators were at Jason's Laundromat in Huntington, helping patrons take a moment to evaluate their health habits in between laundry loads.

The Rethink Your Drink initiative aims to educate about healthy drink options, help identify drinks with added sugar, and make the link between consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks and health risks.

MyPlate at the Nicholas Center

Educators were in Port Washington to share tips on making healthy choices and balancing food from each of the five groups. Partipiants had a blast helping prepare a No Cook Corn Salad. 

The Nicholas Center supports individuals with Autism to learn critical life skills, improve social and communication abilities, gain meaningful vocational training, and engage in community projects. 

Nutritionist Anthony Garcia Invited to East End Men's Conference Panel

Anthony Garcia, Bilingual Nutritionist with the Community Education Program, had the privilege of participating in a panel alongside Latino and African American professionals at LILTA's inaugural East End Men's Conference: Men Leaders Paving Paths for Young Men!

Conference attendees had the opportunity to hear from accomplished professionals across a wide array of fields including education, law, science, technology, business, medicine, social work, politics, arts, and sports. Panels were conducted in both English and Spanish, fostering inclusivity for English language learners.

CCE Suffolk is always proud to collaborate with our friends at LILTA. Dafny Irizarry, founder and president of LILTA, is a valued member of the CCE Suffolk Board of Directors. 

The Parent Cafe:

Free Parenting Classes

In today's parenting landscape, establishing a supportive community is paramount for families, providing an avenue to express concerns and acquire invaluable insights.

Find your community at the Parent Cafe!

Through this program, families can access free, research-based educational sessions conducted by expert Parent Educators, Nutrition Educators, Lactation Consultants, and more. As an added treat, gifts and light refreshments accompany these informative gatherings!

Surveyed participants at the last Parent Cafe held at the Connetquot Library reported the following:

  • 80% reported using positive discipline strategies to teach their children appropriate behavior
  • 90% reported feeling more confident in their parenting abilities
  • 100% reported having more patience with their child when they have a temper tantrum as a result of attending the Parent Cafe

Quotes from participants:

“What a gift to be able to get this information while having free childcare. When my first child was a toddler, it was so hard to find the time , motivation and energy to learn these parenting strategies. Having a community to keep me coming back each week was so helpful.”

“This helped a lot with parenting and getting out of the house. I will use these techniques every day.”

“Thank you so much for hosting these classes and providing your experience and education. It has helped me better evaluate and grow with my son.”

Childcare is available!

Click the link below to learn more/register!

Suffolk County Farm and Education Center

350 Yaphank Avenue | Yaphank, NY 11980

Learn more/Register

Huntington YMCA

60 Main Street | Huntington, NY 11743

Learn more/Register

Mastic Moriches Shirley Community library

369 Neighbor Road | Mastic Beach, New York 11951

Learn more/Register

Virtual Classes Via Zoom

Learn more/Register

Check out some press coverage of this amazing initiative!

Long Island Media Group


Ask the Family Educator

by Maxine Cohen, Parent Educator

With Daylight Savings Time arriving in March, what can I do to enjoy better sleep each night?

We live in a sleep-deprived country. Everyone has fully-packed days, and we sometimes run on empty. Stress levels can be high, and we look forward to a good night’s sleep to compensate for all of this.

Many times, we don’t enjoy a quality sleep experience which is long enough and satisfying in meeting our needs. Sleep deprivation has an array of effects. Our thinking can be compromised the next day. Our temperament can be irritable. Even our immune system can become impaired. Do you ever find yourself yawning endlessly?

Sleep is essential for good health, for performing everyday tasks, for acting in a safe manner, and for enjoying a good quality of life. In fact, meeting sleep needs is as essential as good nutrition and exercise for optimal health.

Good sleep hygiene habits help us to obtain sufficient sleep. Keep your bedroom cool and dark. Use a heavy, comfortable blanket which makes you feel like you are in a protective cocoon. Avoid eating a heavy meal close to bedtime as digestion will interfere with sleeping in a flat position. Avoid drinking alcohol or doing strenuous exercise within 4-6 hours of sleep. Don’t use sleeping medication as it becomes habit-forming. Try calming your mind and body, clearing out negative thoughts and worries. It has been found that writing down anxious thoughts with pad and pen helps in alleviating these worrisome thoughts for the night.

Using technology before bedtime or while you are in bed is a big culprit. It increases alertness hormones in the body, preventing you from falling asleep. Using screens also suppresses the release of natural melatonin in the body, and that, too, postpones sleep. Try to turn off your screens well before your bedtime.

Aim for calmness. Soothing music, a warm bath, even reading for a bit, help to settle the body and signal that it’s time for sleep. Adults should aim for an average of 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Try to go to bed around the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning. Enjoy exercise and sunlight during the day, preferably in the morning. This will establish a circadian rhythm that keeps you revved up during the day and ready for a good night’s sleep each night.

As spring approaches, wishing you good sleep and pleasant dreams!

Suffolk County Farm & 4-H

Pilot Archery Program

Suffolk County 4-H has begun an 8-week pilot program to start off a new partnership with Peconic River Sportsman’s Club, utilizing the facility’s indoor and outdoor archery ranges. 

Future plans for this new program are still in the works, but there are plans to offer short term archery programs year-round at the site. Anyone interested in joining one of our future sessions are welcome to reach out to 4-H Club Educator Nicole Fiorentino ([email protected]) with your information and you will be contacted when registration opens.

Junior Iron Chef 2024

Calling all aspiring young chefs!

2024 will be the eighth annual Junior Iron Chef on Long Island. High school student teams will create recipes and compete in a one-day cooking challenge to be the Junior Iron Chef Champion!

This educational event hopes to encourage youth to learn new skills in cooking to lead healthier lifestyle, promote the use of local food to support our local farmers and environment, encourage discussions within the teams about where foods come from and learn food systems, and to create new healthy recipes that can be implemented into school cafeteria menus. 

This competition is being hosted by CCE Suffolk and the Suffolk County Community College Culinary Arts & Hospitality Center in Riverhead. Schools and community groups are encouraged to participate!

For more information and registration, click here

4-H Animal Science Educator Kate Perz Presents at NYS 4-H Livestock Summit

Kate Perz, 4-H Animal Science Educator at the Suffolk County Farm & Education Center, recently presented on Animal First Aid for the virtual 2024 NYS 4-H Livestock Summit!

Check out Kate's full presentation here

Suffolk County 4-H

Sock Fundraiser

Get yourself some awesome socks, and support Suffolk's 4-H Youth!

Socks will be shipped directly to your home upon ordering. Socks are 100% American-made, and one size fits most, cross knitted for premier stretch.

Order here

Try the Farm's 1 Mile Walk!

Planning to visit the farm soon? Enjoy a refreshing workout amongst the fields and animals!

Check out the one-mile walk route here

You can also join our Executive Director on her Thursday and Friday morning runs on the property? Please email [email protected] to sign up.


Take Our Energy Survey for the Chance to Win a $50 Gift Card!

CCE Nassau, CCE Suffolk, and Hofstra University are conducting a study of home energy use and cost on Long Island as part of the Long Island Clean Energy Hub’s goal to support an equitable transition to a clean energy economy. All Suffolk County and Nassau County residents encouraged to complete this short survey!

We’d like to offer you an opportunity to enter a raffle for a $50 gift card to take this 10-15 minute survey about your household's energy use and the associated expenses—respondents have a 1 in 10 chance of winning a gift card. Your responses will be anonymous.

Take the survey here

Thank you for assisting the Clean Energy Hub in our efforts to help communities lower their home energy costs and deliver a cleaner living environment to residents!

Project Warmth Event

The Clean Energy team joined our partners at United Way of Long Island and local Wyandanch community leaders to celebrate the National Grid Foundation's contribution of $500,000 to help keep at-risk Long Islanders safe and warm this winter through the Project Warmth Emergency Fuel Fund. 

Project Warmth is a safety net for financially struggling individuals and families who are unable to pay their heating bill. This program provides a one-time grant for fuel and/or fuel-related electricity. Payments are made directly to oil and utility companies on behalf of eligible residents facing heating emergencies. For the hundreds of families we help each year, assistance with an oil delivery or utility arrears means they have room in their budgets to cover essentials like food or medication.

Thank you to the elected officials, including Suffolk County Legislator Jason A. Richberg, and Babylon Town Councilmen DuWayne Gregory and Anthony Manetta (pictured) who helped celebrate and promote this important emergency funding.

Remember, CCE Suffolk Clean Energy staff can help link you to these and other home heating bill relief funds, reductions, and home energy efficiency improvements. Please e-mail us at [email protected] for more information!

Start Training for a Career in Renewable Energy and Net Zero Building!

Apply today for Power Up Wind, Solar & Renewables, a FREE United Way of Long Island training program and certification that will help you secure a career in the fast-growing fields of renewable energy, smart grid, and green construction.

This Program will operate out of United Way’s state-of-the-art E3 SmartBuild Training Center in Deer Park and includes:

Introduction to Solar, Wind Turbines, and Renewables

Hands-on training for high-performance and net zero building

Building Science Principles Certification

Assistance with Job Placement upon course completion


This program is currently FREE of charge and enrollment is limited! Available in both English and Spanish.

Learn more and apply here

Y en español aquí

Check Out The New CCE Suffolk Clean Energy Program Webpage

The new Clean Energy Program will help to connect Suffolk County homes and businesses with the rapidly growing clean energy sector, offering home energy efficiency opportunities, municipal and communal clean energy opportunities, resources for finding job training and employment in the clean energy sector, and more!

View the new webpage here

You can stay up-to-date with the latest from this great program by following along on Facebook and subscribing to the monthly Clean Energy Newsletter!


2024 Spawning Season Kick Off

Love was in the air (and the water!) for Valentine’s Day at the Suffolk County Marine Environmental Learning Center (SCMELC)!

Each year, we gather with officials, stakeholders, volunteers, and board members at SCMELC for the Spawning Season Kick-Off, celebrating another season of growth, feeding, and planting of the shellfish which play a crucial role in our local ecology. Attendees witnessed how a small tank of several dozen adult oysters, conditioned for spawning over many weeks, can result in millions of oyster larvae in only a matter of hours.

In addition to the oysters, participants learned about the CCE Suffolk Marine Program’s work with bay scallops and recent advances in the field of kelp aquaculture. 

For more than 30 years, scientists at CCE Suffolk have been producing shellfish at SCMELC for planting in local waters. In 2018, a nearly 4,000 square foot production hatchery was added to the site, which has resulted in over 125 million shellfish produced since 2021 including oysters, bay scallops, and hard clams. 

Special thanks to our elected officials and state representatives in attendance:

  • Martin L. Gary, Director, Division of Marine Resources at the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
  • Jessica Henesy, Economic Development Program Specialist at the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets
  • Legislator Ann Welker
  • Southold Town Supervisor Al Krupski
  • Village of Quogue Mayor Robert Treuhold

2024 New York

Seafood Summit

Thank you to all attendees, presenters, and panelists for an incredible 8th annual Downstate Seafood Summit!

The summit brought together a variety of professionals with vested interest in seafood, supporting growth and sustainability while working to build active communications between the various sectors of the industry. 

The group discussed challenges such as high costs, infrastructure issues, and regulatory hurdles, proposing solutions like modernizing regulations, promoting local species, and incentivizing restaurant purchases of local seafood.

Special thank you to our Legislative Panel participants:

  • Peter Ganley, representative for Congressman Nick LaLota
  • Assemblyman Fred Thiele
  • Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick
  • Suffolk County Legislator Stephanie Bontempi
  • Suffolk County Legislator Samuel Gonzalez
  • Guy Calla, representative for Suffolk County Legislator Kevin McCaffrey
  • Cole Yastrzemski, representative for Suffolk County Legislator Ann Welker
  • Derek Stein, representative for Legislator Catherine Stark
  • Southampton Town Supervisor Maria Moore
  • Riverhead Town Councilmember Denise Merrifield
  • Southampton Town Councilmember Bill Pell

Visit from Oscar Ikinya, Kenyan Seaweed Aquaculture Professional

The Marine Program had the distinct pleasure of welcoming Oscar Ikinya, a visiting Rotary Club member from Kenya, for a tour of the Suffolk County Marine Environmental Learning Center (SCMELC)!

Oscar is a leader in the development of the seaweed aquaculture industry in Kenya and has promoted the creation of women-owned seaweed aquaculture businesses in that country. Oscar’s visit will serve to provide guidance to the Rotary Environmental Action Coalition of Huntington (REACH) program, for which CCE Suffolk is a partner, in developing its seaweed aquaculture program and sharing their restoration program model with other Rotary programs across the globe. 

During his tour, Oscar had the opportunity to explore our shellfish hatchery and engage in discussions with Josh Perry, our hatchery manager, regarding the shellfish restoration efforts and educational outreach conducted by CCE for Long Island. Additionally, he met with Steve Schott, CCE's Marine Botany/Habitat Restoration Specialist, to delve into the burgeoning seaweed aquaculture industry on Long Island. Their conversation centered around CCE's pivotal role in providing guidance not only to the commercial sector but also to organizations like Rotary interested in venturing into seaweed farming.

Learn more about Oscar and the Mwani Africa project here

Volunteers Needed: New York Horseshoe Crab Monitoring Network

The Marine Program is seeking individuals, organizations, and students interested in internship opportunities to take on the role of lead Site Coordinators for 12 evenings of horseshoe crab monitoring at beaches in Westhampton Dunes and Hampton Bays during May and June!

The data collected from this community science program is essential to the conservation of horseshoe crabs and migratory shorebirds, and is published in scientific journals. For more information, please reach out to us at [email protected] 

Learn more here

Newsday Cover Story Highlights Efforts to Restore Peconic Scallops

Did you catch Aquaculture & Shellfish Restoration Specialist Harrison Tobi on the cover of Newsday?

The feature discusses our efforts to restore the Peconic Bay scallop population on Long Island, using a novel approach by spawning scallops from Moriches Bay and introducing their offspring into the Peconic population.


This approach seeks to capitalize on any genetic advantages that Moriches Bay scallops may possess in coping with rising water temperatures and combating a lethal pathogen that affects Peconic Bay scallops. The Marine Program's cutting-edge hatchery, situated at the Suffolk County Marine Environmental Education Center (SCMELC) in Southold, is integral to this initiative, spawning and nurturing millions of scallops.

“We’re getting a jump-start from what’s occurring out in Mother Nature,” said hatchery manager Mike Patricio, who tends to the tanks of scallops — the size of grains of sand — seven days a week. The objective is to “grow the biggest-size seed as possible so that when we plant them they have a better chance of surviving in the wild.”

Thank you to Mark Harrington for an excellent article!

Those with a Newsday subscription can read the full article here

Moriches Bay Project

Valentine's Fundraising Dinner

The Moriches Bay Project is a small not-for-profit project with the mission of improving water quality in Moriches Bay and restoring its ecosystem to a state of natural health. A significant aspect of the project involves oyster planting initiatives throughout the bay, facilitated through collaborative efforts with the Cornell Cooperative Extension Marine Program Program, the Southampton Town Trustees, and Brookhaven Town.

CCE Suffolk was proud to be in attendance for the group's annual Valentine’s Fundraising Dinner! Hosted at Buoy One in Westhampton Beach, the event provided attendees with a delectable meal, captivating music, and more, all in support of the Moriches Bay Project's vital efforts.

Donate Here

Your support enables us to continue to be a vital and necessary part of our county’s future. Your gift today helps ensure our programs of tomorrow.

CCE Suffolk Board of Directors Highlight

Dafny Irizarry

Currently in her first year on the CCE Suffolk Board of Directors, Dafny Irizarry is the founder and president of the Long Island Latino Teachers Association, an organization working to identify and tackle common risk factors impacting the academic outcomes of Latino students and other ethnic groups on Long Island.

Ms. Irizarry teaches English as a New Language (ENL) in the Central Islip School District. She also serves as First Vice President for the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) Long Island Chapter, is a member of the Advisory Board Member for the TESOL Program at Molloy College, and a member of the Community Advisory Board for Northwell Health.

Upcoming Events

Maple Sugaring Workshop

Saturday, March 2, 2024, 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Saturday, March 2, 2024, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Learn about the process of making syrup by helping drill and tap our maple trees and hanging buckets to collect the sap. Everyone can watch how the sugaring process happens.

Enjoy a wagon ride on our "Syrup Express" for a quick visit to our farm animals.

  • Tapping Demonstrations
  • Maple Sugaring Process presentation
  • Wagon Rides-ongoing

Learn more

Parenting Workshops -

Youth Mental Health

Tuesday, March 5, 2024, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Tuesday, March 12, 2024, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Tuesday, March 19, 2024, 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Tuesday, March 26, 2024, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Join us for the next Supporting Youth Mental Health Series, presented by the Parent Education team!

These free educational programs will help you learn valuable information to promote and understand youth mental health

  • Supporting LGBTQ+ Youth

Learn strategies to create a supportive family, community, and school environment, which can make the biggest positive difference on the lives of LGBTQ youth.

  • Teens and Screens

Participants will learn strategies and have opportunities for discussion around how to best manage parenting in this technology-infused world.

  • Cultivating Resilient Teens

Tuesday, March 19 | 12:00 - 1:00pm

Parents will learn how to help their teens to develop healthy social relationships, set proper boundaries, and develop effective communication to build and maintain resilience.

  • Teaching Kids about Drug and Alcohol Use

This workshop offers suggestions about having conversations about the dangers of drug and alcohol use and how to best support our children in making good choices.

Questions? Contact Cara Sultan at [email protected]

Learn more/Register

Test Your Pressure Canner Dial Gauge for Safely Canning Foods

Thursday, March 7, 2024, 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Saturday, March 16, 2024, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Thursday, March 28, 2024, 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

For safe processing of low-acid foods such as meats, poultry, fish, game and vegetables, home pressure dial gauges must be tested yearly to ensure accuracy.

The dial gauge should also be tested if it has been bumped or dropped. If the dial gauge is inaccurate by more than two pounds, Extension Professionals and the National Center for Home Food Preservation recommend replacement. If the dial gauge is off by two pounds or less, an adjustment can be made. Weighted gauges do not need to be tested.

Available in English and Spanish, testing site is located in the 1st floor meeting room.

Cost: $10 (cash or check made out to CCE of Suffolk County)

Learn more

Mindfulness Mondays - Guided Meditation and Marsh Walk

Monday, March 4, 2024, 11:00AM - 12:00PM

Immerse yourself in the tranquil beauty of nature as you practice mindfulness and connect with your inner self.

Our guide and educator Ella will lead you through a calming meditation session surrounded by our beautiful Cedar Beach Creek and Peconic Bay as a backdrop. Afterward, we will stroll back to the Marine Center through the trails of the marsh and along the beach, where we will observe and identify native plants, signs of wildlife, and enjoy the soothing sounds of nature. This in-person event is the perfect opportunity to prioritizing your well-being while exploring our natural surroundings throughout the seasons at Cedar Beach.

Learn more/Register

ArtSea Mindfulness Mondays - Oil Pastel Scallop Shells

Monday, March 4, 2024, 1:30 PM - 2:30PM

Join us for a unique and creative experience at ArtSea Mindfulness Mondays! Dive into the world of art and mindfulness with artist Carolyn Munaco. The focus of this series is the marine habitats and creatures surrounding the Suffolk County Marine Environmental Learning Center throughout the seasons.

Whether you're a beginner or an experienced artist, this in-person event is perfect for everyone. Discover the therapeutic power of art and connect with like-minded individuals. Don't miss out on this opportunity to unwind, and unleash your creativity.

Learn more/Register

Spring Gardening School

Saturday, March 9, 2024, 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Join us for Spring Gardening School!

Featuring a full day of workshops presented by Master Gardeners covering a wide array of topics. There’s something for every gardener!

Some sessions are limited in size: registration is first come, first serve. Be sure to register promptly, as sessions fill fast!

Pre-registration is required; walk-ins will not be permitted.

To see the full list of workshops, as well as registration instructions, click here

Marsh Madness: Tiana Bayside

Marsh Cleanup

Participants will help us clean the marshlands of man made debris and learn about the biology and importance of marsh grasses as we discuss decreases in marshlands and the ways that CCE is working to restore them.

Removal of the litter and debris will improve water quality and habitat for fish, shellfish, shorebirds, wading birds, waterfowl, as well as rare species including the saltmarsh sparrow, diamondback terrapin and the snowy owl.

Learn more/Register

Private Sunset Wagon Rides at the Suffolk County Farm

Sunday, March 10, 2024, 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Monday, March 11, 2024, 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Thursday, March 14, 2024, 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Friday, March 15, 2024, 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Saturday, March 16, 2024, 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Sunday, March 17, 2024, 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

+ more

Experience the farm all to yourself with a private group sunset tour!

Please note:

  • Close toed shoes are required to enter goat pens so please dress accordingly.
  • You are more than welcome to bring your own s’mores supplies and non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Available dates on a first come first served basis!

Please register at least two weeks prior to schedule your group. Don’t wait, dates fill fast!

Spring and Summer Experience:

Enjoy the farm all to yourself with a private group sunset tour! The experience includes personal farm tour guides, wagon ride, animal visit, time inside the goat pen, and campfire!


$350 per group. Up to 20 participants. Children under 3 are free and do not count towards head count. An additional wagon is available for $150 for a maximum of 40 people total.

Learn more

Winter Homeschool Series

Wednesday, March 20, 2024, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

This winter, we are offering three classes that serve as the perfect addition to any homeschool curriculum.

One class each month running from 12pm-1pm. These classes are for youth ages 5-10 and are $50 for all three. Pre-registration is required.

The topic for March 20th is: Egg to Chick

Please note: In order to provide quality programs we need at least 8 people signed up in order for the program to proceed - so please don't wait to register. In the instance that there are not enough registrants and the class must be canceled, you will be notified one week in advance

Learn more/Register

Raising Responsible Children

Friday, March 15, 2024, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

We all want our children to grow into being responsible, contributing members of our families and, ultimately, of society.

How do we guide our children to acquire the necessary skills and motivation? This workshop will explore parenting practices that teach children responsibility for themselves, for their schoolwork, for their home, and for their relationships.

For parents of children 5-12 years of age.

Learn more/Register

2024 Veterinary Medicine Career Exploration Program

Thursday, February 15, 2024, 7:00 PM - 8:45 PM

Thursday, February 29, 2024, 7:00 PM - 8:45 PM

Thursday, March 7, 2024, 7:00 PM - 8:45 PM

Thursday, March 14, 2024, 7:00 PM - 8:45 PM

Thursday, March 21, 2024, 7:00 PM - 8:45 PM

Is there a high school student in your life interested in pursuing a career in veterinary medicine?

Registration is open for the 33rd annual Veterinary Medicine Career Exploration Program!

This 5-part lecture series is full of information on topics such as the vet school admission process, different veterinary specialties, and what it is like to be a veterinarian. Lectures will be held in-person at the Yaphank County Office Building (360 Yaphank Ave, Yaphank).

**Please note: In order to be eligible for the scholarship and certificate of completion only one absence is allowed, no exceptions.

Questions? Email Kate Perz, 4-H Animal Science Educator, at [email protected]

Learn more/Register

ArtSEA Create + Sip: Oysters

Thursday, March 21, 2024, 6:30 PM - 7:30PM

Join us for an exciting evening of creativity and fun at ArtSea Create & Sip - Oyster Shell Decoupage! Get ready to unleash your artistic side with decoupage as we learn about the importance of local oysters and oyster reefs. Held at Cowfish Restaurant in Hampton Bays.

Learn more/Register

Edna the Egg

Saturday, March 23, 2024, 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Come join us on the farm as Edna the Egg goes on an Eggcellent Adventure. A fun time for children as they learn about what "Edna" is experiencing as she grows inside her Egg.

Hear a wonderful story about her and make an eggceptional craft. We'll then take a wagon ride around the farm to see her special friends. Get to see and meet her Chicken family in the animal yard. It will be an eggciting day for all!

For ages 3-8 ONLY

Fee: $20

Learn more/Register

Ukrainian Egg Decorating

Saturday, March 23, 2024, 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Come learn the incredible art of Ukrainian Egg decorating! 

Class will be limited to 12 people. It is open to ages 12 and up. Only registered participants will be allowed in the building. 

Things to know: 

  • All supplies are provided but you are encouraged to bring your own apron or smock.
  • Youth under 18 will be required to be accompanied by a registered adult.
  • We will meet in the Agricultural Hall building at your scheduled time. Please leave a few extra minutes to give yourself time to sign in at the Visitor Center and find your way there.
  • Fee: $30

Learn more/Register

Suffolk County Fertilizer Turf Management Course

Thursday, March 28, 2024, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

For retailers, landscapers, and lawn care professionals

On Long Island, we depend on our groundwater for drinking water. But the nitrogen fertilizer we apply to our lawns - especially when the grass is dormant - can move down through the soil and pollute our aquifer.

To protect Long Island's waters, Suffolk County Local Law No. 41-2007 was passed to reduce nitrogen pollution to our groundwater and surface waters through the overall reduction and better management of fertilizer applications. Elements of the law include a ban on applying fertilizer in Suffolk County from November 1 to April 1, an educational course requirement for lawn care professionals, and educational signs and brochures posted in fertilizer retail establishments.

Learn more/Register

Introduction to Robotics

Wednesday, March 6, 2024, 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Wednesday, March 13, 2024, 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Wednesday, March 20, 2024, 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

This is a 4 week series that meets once a week 6pm-7:30pm starting February 28.

We'll explore basic robotic and mechanical concepts then team up to design and build a robotic arm from common "junk draw" materials. Each team will be challenged to use their design to carry out a set of tasks. After that, students will be introduced to a more advanced electronic robotic arm that can be programmed using the Blockly coding system in preparation for a second series on more advanced concepts and coding for those who are interested.

Fee: $80

Learn more/Register

Long Island Horticulture Conference

Tuesday, March 5, 2024, 7:30 AM - 4:30 PM

We invite you to join us for the 34th Annual Long Island Horticulture Conference!

Landscapers, nursery growers, arborists, landscape architects and designers, turf managers, and others in the horticulture industry throughout Long Island and beyond are invited to attend.

Learn more about available sessions/topics here

Register here

Raising Backyard Chickens

Saturday, March 9, 2024, 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Ever thought about getting chickens? Planning to start your own backyard flock this Spring?

Join us on the farm Sunday March 9th for a FREE raising chickens 101 seminar to learn all you need to know and ask our 4-H Animal Science Educator any questions you may have.

Lecture Topics include: 

  • Raising Chicks
  • Pullets & Hens Breeds 
  • Behavior
  • Nutrition & Disease Prevention 
  • Town Ordinances
  • Equipment 
  • Housing
  • Weather Concerns

The presentation is approximately one hour, followed by 30 minutes of Q & A. Please register all paticipants ages 3 and up.

Learn more/Register

St. Patrick's Day

Scavenger Hunt

Saturday, March 16, 2024, 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM

The Leprechaun's are back and they've hidden their gold all across the farm! We'll need your help collecting it all. Join us Saturday, March 16th for our annual hunt for the Leprechaun's pot of gold!

Scavenger hunt, wagon rides, photo ops and farm animals! Lots of fun while you search for that pot of gold..

The scavenger hunt is self directed so begin whenever you arrive, and at your own pace!

Registration is required for both children and adults.

New this year: Food trucks and adult beverages!

Fee: $15 per person ages 3 and up. Under 2 do not need to register.

Learn more/Register

Board of Directors Meeting

Wednesday, March 20, 2024, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

The March meeting of the CCE Suffolk Board of Directors will be held at our main offices in Riverhead:

423 Griffing Avenue

Riverhead, NY 11901

Learn more

Sea Explorers Marine Camp

Summer 2024

Spaces are filling up fast for Sea Explorers Marine Camp 2024, held at the Sport Fishing Education Center in Babylon!

Learn more and sign up here

Peconic Dunes Camp

Southold, NY

Food Service Manager/Head Cook

This position supervises all food preparation and service operations, assists with the selection of cooks and kitchen assistants, develops weekly menus and meals that are nutritionally complete and reasonably accommodate special dietary needs or restrictions, procures food and supplies and monitors expenses. Learn more/Apply


Under the Facilities Manager's direction, the Housekeeper is primarily responsible for cleaning the camp's bathroom facilities. The Housekeeper will also be responsible for monitoring cleaning supply inventory and notifying the Facilities Manager when any supply is running low, or any equipment is damaged or requires replacement. Learn More/Apply

View All Employment & Volunteer Opportunities Here

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Jacob Ocon, Communications Coordinator

[email protected]