Long Island Sound Schools network

Map of Long Island Sound with Long Island and Connecticut coastline

Elementary, middle and high school students, teachers and the communities of 10 public schools in urban and suburban areas will comprise the new Long Island Sound Schools network, committing to the protection of local watersheds, the Sound and our one global ocean.

With funding by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Long Island Sound Study and facilitated by Connecticut Sea Grant and Mercy University, the program supports schools that implement a school or community-based project and create a plan to increase ocean literacy by engaging students, families and the public.

All the schools are located within the Long Island Sound watershed, from inland areas with waterways that flow into the estuary to shoreline communities. Program funding will provide stipends for lead teachers at each school and up to $5,000 per school to implement projects. The schools will also have access to a network of educators, connections with scientists, community organizations and stewardship sites, and possible travel funds for conference presentations.

“We have all been inspired by a teacher who has opened our minds to new possibilities and ambitions,” said Mark A. Tedesco, director of the EPA’s Long Island Sound Office. “The new Long Island Sound Schools network will support schools, teachers, and students in learning about Long Island Sound and actively engaging in its protection and conservation.”

The project began with a kick-off meeting of member schools on Jan. 4. The schools will be implementing their projects through Aug. 15, as well as planning a student symposium and teacher retreat.

Diane Payne
Diana Payne

“The Long Island Sound Schools network builds on more than 20 years of success with the Long Island Sound Mentor Teacher program,” said Diana Payne, CT Sea Grant education coordinator. “It’s the next logical step—from fostering educators to incorporate Long Island Sound into their curriculum at the classroom level and expanding it to the school and community level.”

The program is modeled on the National Atmospheric and Oceanographic Administration’s (NOAA) Ocean Guardian Schools and the international Blue Schools network.

Meghan Marrero
Meghan Marrero

“This project is a wonderful opportunity for school communities to strengthen their connection to Long Island Sound and our global ocean, inspiring the next generation of ocean stewards,” said Meghan Marrero, professor of secondary science education and co-director of the Mercy University Center for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Education. Payne and Marrero are co-leaders of the project.

For information about the program, contact Diana Payne at: diana.payne@uconn.edu; Meghan Marrero at: mmarrero3@mercy.edu.

A group of middle school students and their teacher on an observation deck overlooking Long Island Sound.
A group of middle school students and their teacher on an observation deck overlooking Long Island Sound.

Making Waves: schools set sail with Long Island Sound Schools project

Meghan Marrero, right, at the beach as a girl.
Meghan Marrero, right, at the beach as a girl.

Learn how Mercy University Professor Meghan Marrero's childhood love of the sea helped pave the way for the creation of the Long Island Sound Schools network with CT Sea Grant Education Coordinator Diana Payne in this article from The Impact, a publication of Mercy University: https://theimpactnews.com/news/2024/02/12/making-waves-schools-set-sail-with-long-island-sound-project/

Trumbull High students work to help preserve Long Island Sound

Trumbull High seniors Anna Smith, 18, left, and Isabella Czumble, 17, look forward to participating in the school's upcoming projects after being named a Long Island Sound Schooll in Trumbull, Conn. on Wednesday, February 14, 2024.
Trumbull High seniors Anna Smith, 18, left, and Isabella Czumble, 17.
Photo: Hearst Connecticut Media

Anna Smith and almost 70 of her classmates are participating in a new project designed to improve ocean literacy and advocate for marine life by helping to preserve the Long Island Sound. The project was made possible by a grant Trumbull High School recently received, as part of being picked as a Long Island Sound School. Trumbull is one of 10 in a network of schools dedicated to educating students on the importance of taking care of the environment.

Read the article from the Feb. 24, 2024 Connecticut Post here. 

2024 Long Island Sound Schools


  • Flanders Elementary, East Lyme
  • Mystic River Magnet
  • Torrington High
  • Trumbull High
  • Walter Fitzgerald Campus, Southport
  • Waterford High.

New York:

  • Jefferson Elementary, New Rochelle
  • PS175X, Bronx
  • Smithtown High School West
  • Trinity Elementary, New Rochelle