New student steward blog at http://elodsrstewardprogram.blogspot.com is your portal to New York’s natural resources along the Eastern Lake Ontario Dunes and Salmon River.Oswego, NY -- Blogging has come to the Eastern Lake Ontario Dunes & Wetlands Area and the Salmon River corridor. Through summer and fall, the student stewards who educate the public about the value of these vital environmental resources will post their experiences and information at http://elodsrstewardprogram.blogspot.com. Blog content will focus on special educational opportunities, such as steward activities at Dune Fest for area 7th and 8th graders, Harborfest, and the Oswego County Fair and will include observations and photos posted each week by the Eastern Lake Ontario Dune and Salmon River Stewards working in the natural resource areas at Sandy Pond Bach Natural Area, Lakeview Wildlife Management Area, Little America and Redfield Island. The stewards are sharing info on the wildlife species they see; report of interactions with kayakers, beachwalkers, and anglers fishing for such species as freshly-stocked landlocked Atlantic salmon and steelhead; and information on why the eastern shore of Lake Ontario is critical habitat for migrating and resident birds and what makes the Salmon River Falls Unique Area unique.  "The stewards promote environmentally-sound recreational use of these vital natural resources and encourage willing compliance with guidelines designed to protect the resources. They participate in research and monitoring surveys, and host field walks and programs on a variety of topics of interest to those who enjoy the outdoors," says Steward Coordinator Mary Penney of New York Sea Grant, Oswego, NY. "We are excited about sharing their observations and reports through the new Eastern Lake Ontario Dune and Salmon River Stewardship Blog."          Recent posts highlight the use of plantings to help stabilize the dunes and streambanks, photos of Redfield Reservoir, a swallowtail butterfly, the root of a Phragmites plant, and Salmon River Falls. This will be the second blog to highlight a New York Sea Grant-managed program. In July 2008 Website Content Manager Paul Focazio created New York Sea Grant's first blog as he posted daily reports from aboard the federal Research Vessel Peter Wise Lake Guardian as NYSG hosted a week-long, hands-on learning cruise for teachers and environmental educators. The well-received "Shipboard & Shoreline Science on Lake Ontario" blog that combined the science and social aspects of the teaching cruise plus photos spawned the new stewardship blog. Focazio says, "It's a perfect fit to have the dune and river stewards document their experiences with the public throughout the summer and fall. We're offering Web surfers, especially those away from these resources, a first-hand account of, among other things, touring the beaches that provide public access along eastern Lake Ontario and the Salmon River Falls Unique Area." Penney adds, "Since the stewards are writing the blog, this technology is a great opportunity for them to learn and it provides blog readers with new places to visit along the eastern shoreline of Lake Ontario such as Black Pond Wildlife Management Area and within the Salmon River corridor and Chateaugay State Forest." The Eastern Lake Ontario Dune Steward and Salmon River Steward Program is coordinated by New York Sea Grant in cooperation with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, The Nature Conservancy and New York State Parks. The Eastern Lake Ontario Dune Stewards work at public access points along the 17-mile stretch of barrier beach complex that includes beaches, fragile sand dunes, and wetlands areas in Oswego and Jefferson counties (El Dorado Nature Preserve, Black Pond Wildlife Management Area [WMA], Southwick Beach State Park, Lakeview WMA in Jefferson County, and Sandy Pond Beach Natural Area and Deer Creek Marsh WMA in Oswego County). The Salmon River Stewards monitor New York State Department of Environmental Conservation properties in the Oswego County towns of Richland, Orwell, Albion and Redfield from the upper Redfield Reservoir to Port Ontario on Lake Ontario. To learn more about the Eastern Lake Ontario Dune Steward and Salmon River Program, visit the blog at http://elodsrstewardprogram.blogspot.com or contact Mary Penney, New York Sea Grant, Oswego, NY, 315-312-3042.

# # #

The stewards contributing to the blog are:
  • Chief Steward Greg Chapman
  • Paul Dawson
  • Emily Freeman
  • Stacy Furgal
  • Jim Katz
  • Liz Wolff
Photo:  New student steward blog at http://elodsrstewardprogram.blogspot.com is your portal to New York's natural resources along the Eastern Lake Ontario Dunes and Salmon River. Contact: Mary Penney New York Sea Grant (315) 312-3042 mp357@cornell.edu