The sSELF project was designed to empower school and/or community groups to be active stewards of their local estuarine environment through education and monitoring. The Long Island South Shore Estuary encompasses 325 square miles of shallow bays and tidal tributaries located along the south shore of Nassau and Suffolk Counties in New York.
The South Shore Estuary Reserve watershed includes a variety of land uses from urban to suburban to rural. Increased scientific monitoring of the estuarys water quality and fostering citizen appreciation, education and stewardship of its resources are important objectives of the Reserve Comprehensive Management Plan adopted by New York State and the South Shore Estuary Reserve Council in 2001. An Estuary Learning Facilitator (ELF) from the sSELF program visits the groups, offers background on monitoring and works to facilitate a monitoring/action project at a particular site of interest to the group. The sSELF program supplies the materials and equipment necessary and trains the group members. In addition to field work and programs at the schools, workshops have been held at Dowling College and the Long Island Maritime Museum.