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Monday, January 31, 2011

Junior Summer

Registration for our Junior Summer Programs has officially begun and we are excited about all of our offerings. However, instead of telling you what we think about them, we thought it would be a good idea to let the kids do the talking. Below are a few of the stories or poems from children who spent some time in our programs last summer.

'The WaterFront Center was so much fun. My favorite part was putting on the wading boots and bringing the seine net in the water. It felt like I was a fisherman. Then we were looking for certain kinds of shells. It felt like I was an explorer. Then we went on the Christeen sailboat. We raised the sails. We were like a pirate's crew.'
- Vance Robinson

'Oyster Bay is wet and sand. We saw a whole bunch of sea stars and we went on a sail on a boat called the Christeen. On the boat we saw plankton and Emmanual got jelly fish on his pants!'
- Stefon Baxter

Sailing at the WFC
'When I'm sailing at the WFC
I feel free
Like there is no where else I'd rather be
I breathe in the ocean air
As my Opti picks up speed
My hair blows with the flow of the wind
The water goes through
My fingers as they are forced through the water
Sometimes it's hard when you're stick in irons
But if you just concentrate and think...
I realize that this is where 
I need to be right
That this is one of the things
That makes me
And that there's no other way
I'd rather spend my 
Than sailing at the WFC'
-Elizabeth Sorge

'Sniggling, Sniggling all the eels are wiggling; Although fresh water is where they roam, salt water can also be their home! Flipping over rocks, weather my crocs, I go looking for eels. eels be slimy, eels be bad, eels slip right out of my hand! What is sniggling do you ask? Well, it is a very hard task. With eels so slimy and sticky it becomes very tricky! Although it is very hard, I like it a lot and the tunnel is the perfect spot!'
-Chris Janusos

Come join us for Summer Fun in 2011!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Hot Chocolate

The snow is falling on top of the mountains of snow remaining from previous snow falls and the temperature remains in the lower third of the thermometer. The days are short and cold and the nights are long and even colder, but we're not complaining. There may not be a better time to talk about one of the favorite past-times of cold weather survival, and a staple of most families, than now. 

Hot Chocolate believed to have been created by the Mayan’s in about 2,000AD has spread its fame throughout the world delighting palates of all ages and backgrounds. Since the Mayan's had one of their many moments of genius, there have been a number of variations and plenty of time to perfect this tasty beverage. Moving forward to today, Hot Chocolate has become one of the staples of cold weather survival. Wrap your hands around a hot mug and the instant warmth wraps around you like your favorite childhood blanket. You haven’t even taken a sip yet and you have already imagined it giving you the warm feeling you’ve become accustomed to, not to mention it's smooth, creamy, hot qualities…delicious. There are few drinks adults and children can enjoy together with similar appreciation and fondness. Yes Hot Chocolate is the solution to world peace!

To be fair, there is hot chocolate and then there is Hot Chocolate. Some of the brands you see in stores are merely hot cocoa but masquerade as Hot Chocolate. It’s a crime, on the grandest scale, imagine going to the store and buying apple pie only to be stuck with piles of confectionery sugar in the shape of apples and crust made of bread instead of well, crust. These crimes are conducted by corporations both large and small more interested in their bottom line then your taste-buds. Think of hot chocolate as a 7-layer chocolate cake in a mug, has your attention peaked? Hot cocoa is easier and less time consuming to make, a fast solution to a fast paced world. Without having ingredients that are either impossible to pronounce or spell or both, here's a recipe many use with great success:

1 Tbsp. Dutch-processed cocoa (or 2 tsp. cocoa and 2 tsp. shaved bittersweet chocolate)
1 tsp. sugar, or to taste
8 oz. milk

Hot Chocolate, should consist of and taste like, what its name portrays: Chocolate, the hot kind, heated until it’s pourable, mixed with milk or cream or any combination thereof, and perhaps with accent flavors layered on top of it like mint, chili peppers or whatever suits your fancy.  It’s the best and perhaps most underutilized chocolate delivery system known to man.

An example of an excellent Hot Chocolate recipe comes from Sisha Ortuzar from Top Chef Judge Tom Colicchio’s ‘wichcraft chain’.

Sisha Ortuzar’s Bay Leaf-Infused Hot Chocolate:
1.5 ounces (40-45 grams) bittersweet chocolate, 60-72% cacao, finely chopped
2.5 fluid ounces (5 Tbsp.) heavy cream
1 cup milk
1 dried bay leaf, crumbled
Pinch salt (optional)

Bring the milk and bay leaf to a simmer and let steep for at least five minutes, until the leaf is fragrant. Place the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl or directly into a mug. Heat the cream to a bare boil – be careful, as cream boils over fast and fat burns easily – and pour over the chocolate. Let stand for two minutes, and then stir to make a smooth paste. Strain the milk and stir until the mixture is smooth and integrated. Add a tiny pinch of salt, it can intensify the flavor of the chocolate, if desired and serve.

Share Some of your favorite Hot Chocolate or hot cocoa recipes by commenting!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

2-for-1 Marine Discovery Program Offer


The WaterFront Center is excited to offer all schools and groups our seasonal Two-For-One Program Special.  Our Two-For-One Special is for programs brought to your school classroom or at our location scheduled between January 15th and April 15th, 2011. 

For this limited time, if you book two classes for a WaterFront Center Education Program visit to your school or a field trip to our location, you will only have to pay for one program!  If you have more than two classes scheduled, each additional class is be half price and if you register before January 31, 2011 and the $25.00 travel fee is 
We offer a wide variety of hands-on marine science programs to augment your student’s learning experience and enhance curriculum.  Program components include live animals, experiments, stories and crafts (for the Pre-K  through High School).  All our classes are taught by experienced, knowledgeable educators, who are filled with enthusiasm for promoting marine/aquatic conservation and education.
All of our programs are listed on our website at:  For additional information, program scheduling, registration, or to speak with our education department, please contact the WFC at 516.922.7245 x24.
Popular traveling programs include:  Horseshoe Crabs – Our Living Fossils; Marine life Touch Tank; Water Everywhere (hydrologic cycle and resource conservation) and From Sea Shells to Sea Creatures.
Field trip exploration type programs include:  Estuary Exploration; Biology of Plankton; The Oyster in Oyster Bay and more!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Special Delivery!

 Usually when UPS or FedEx swings by  the WFC they are delivering boxes of various sizes with contents such as marine hand held radios, replacement aquaria parts, line of various types and sizes, and other materials. When they come to your house those same sized boxes could be filled with that month’s delivery from your bacon or wine of the month club, perhaps the new jacket or vest for the ski season, or some type of electronic device. All of which are pretty exciting, and most of us can’t wait to rip open the box to see what’s inside. We may have even of forgot what we ordered, which makes it even more exciting!

Well last week, we didn’t get any of those things and we were still pretty excited! The over-sized doors opened up at Christeen’s temporary home and in rolled her brand new mast. It took a few guys, to say the least, a forklift and whatever else they could get their hands on to negotiate the move, but they got it done. The mast was set up (with snow still on it) on a few stands to begin the prep work. 

Basted like a turkey on Thanksgiving Day, the mast receives special treatment and probably receives even more attention than the glorious Thanksgiving Day turkey you may enjoy each year. Multiple times per day a linseed oil and tar mix is applied to the mast which will help preserve the wood and prevent rot from forming. The mast also will get cut down to the exact specifications as it was delivered to us in a rough approximate shape from the mill. The old mast it’s replacing is measured and those measurements are transferred over to the new mast so an exact replica can be fashioned. The fittings on the old mast that are not being replaced are going to be refinished and reused while new fittings are made.

The mountains of snow and ice and cold temperatures did its worst, but were unable to deter our dedicated team of shipwrights and volunteers from the job. The team is moving forward on the project at full bore I hope we can keep you with their pace!

Friday, January 14, 2011

2011 Programs & Schedules Released!

Even though it's January we're thinking Spring at the WaterFront Center! Snow and bone chilling breezes don't stop us from dreaming up new and exciting programs for the 2011 season. We are thrilled about our program offerings for 2011 and can't wait for you to join in on the fun, whether participating in one of our new programs or enjoying one of our signature programs. We can't wait to see you out on the beach, in the marshes or out on West Harbor!

You can go to our website beginning today to check out and browse all of our updated programs and schedules for 2011. Go to The WaterFront Center's Website to view our 2011 offerings and to download the 2011 Program Guide.

Here Comes the Sun......

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Coordinator Needed for Vital Watershed Area!

Please pass on this information to any parties you think would be interested or would broaden the search. Being responsible stewards of the waters which allow us to learn and have so much fun is an important priority!

Oyster Bay/Cold Spring Harbor Protection Committee Coordinator Position

Friends of the Bay is circulating this posting on behalf of the OB/CSH Protection Committee.  This a paid position.  The description is as follows:

Oyster Bay / Cold Spring Harbor Protection Committee
Oyster Bay, New York
The Oyster Bay/ Cold Spring Harbor watershed located on the north shore of Long Island, New York is a 40 square mile watershed that has been subject to increasing environmental threatsin recent years. These include illegal dumping, polluted stormwater, development pressureand impairments to shellfishing, public bathing, fish consumption, habitat/hydrology, aquatic life and recreation.
In order to help protect andenhance the water quality of these two harbors and their tributaries in the most cost-efficient and effective manner, awatershed-wide inter-municipal committee was recently formed.  Sixteen (16) of the  eighteen (18) municipalities located within the watershed have so far agreed to join the committee, which is  known as the Oyster Bay / Cold Spring Harbor Protection Committee (OB/CSH PC).
The Town of Oyster Bay (one of those municipalities) has secured a grant under the Long Island Sound Futures Fund which provides funding to hire a part time Coordinator to facilitate the further development of the Committee.
Duties include but are not limited to the following:
o   Advance the current steering committee to a working committee
o   Develop a mission statement, a needs statement, and a work plan
o   Investigate various options for OB/CSH PC's legal structure, decision-making, future funding mechanisms and procedures for those municipalities who want to join the partnership, develop grant proposals as appropriate.
o   .  Investigate Inter-Municipal Agreement ("IMA") structures and develop an IMA for the municipalities to sign and join the partnership
o   Conduct educational outreach and coordinate among the municipalities
o   Develop a website
o   Coordinate with the Friends of the Bay in the development of a Watershed Action Plan. The Plan will lead to future actions that improve water quality, protect habitat and living resources, educate and involve the public, improve the long term understanding of how to manage the Long Island Sound and its embayments, monitor progress and redirect management efforts.
o   In addition to the Watershed Action Plan, compile all existing plans related to the harbor complex.
o   Investigate the establishment of model codes for the participating municipalities.
o   Develop grant proposals as appropriate.
To the extent that time is available within the established hours, additional duties may be determined by OB/CSH PC.
The position may require attendance at evening meetings.
Office space for the Coordinator will be available at the Friends of the Bay offices located in the hamlet of Oyster Bay.
In addition to the amount described above, the Coordinator will have a budget for contractual services, supplies and materials and travel to carry out the duties described above.
The criteria to be used by the Town in evaluating these proposals shall be the following:
     -      The magnitude, scope and complexity of the services to be rendered
          The experience of the Proposer in assignments of similar size, scope and complexity
          Special knowledge relevant to the project
           The Proposer's knowledge and experience with municipal governments; with Oyster Bay and Cold Spring Harbors; with federal, state and local laws and regulations aimed at protecting watersheds and water quality and with various stakeholder and interest groups that are likely to be involved with the mission of OB/CSH PC.
-          The Proposer's writing and public speaking abilities.
-            The Proposer's past performance with the Town and/or any of the other Committee municipalities or other municipalities facing similar needs.
-            Time constraints and deliverability service;
-            The ability of the Proposer to work by himself or herself; and
-            Experience using Microsoft Office (including Word and Excel), internet. GIS a plus. 
The value of the Coordinator's contract shall not exceed $41,615 over a period of 15 months.  The Coordinator will be paid on an hourly basis. It is anticipated that the Coordinator will work an average of 20 to 25 hours per week.  The Coordinator shall work as an independent contractor for the Town of Oyster Bay and shall be paid upon submission and approval of a Town claim form, time sheets and any other backup determined necessary by the Town.  Benefits are not included with this position.  The position will be subject to quarterly reviews.
Closing Date
The closing date and time are Friday, January 28th at 4:00 pm.  Proposals must be RECEIVED by that time. Proposals must be submitted in hard copy and mailed or hand-delivered.  No electronic proposals will be considered.
Additional Details
Additional details can be found in the Request For Proposals (RFP) package that will be provided upon request.
To Apply
Contact Eric Swenson at (516) 677-5790 or to request a Request For Proposals (RFP) package.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Play Time!

Effort to Restore Children’s Play Gains Momentum

New York Times, Published: January 5, 2011

SARAH WILSON was speaking proudly the other day when she declared: “My house is a little messy.” Ms. Wilson lives in Stroudsburg, Pa., a small town in the Poconos. Many days, her home is strewn with dress-up clothes, art supplies and other artifacts from playtime with her two small children, Benjamin, 6, and Laura, 3. “I let them get it messy because that’s what it’s here for,” she said. 

Ms. Wilson has embraced a growing movement to restore the sometimes-untidy business of play to the lives of children. Her interest was piqued when she toured her local elementary school last year, a few months before Benjamin was to enroll in kindergarten. She still remembered her own kindergarten classroom from 1985: it had a sandbox, blocks and toys. But this one had a wall of computers and little desks. 

“There’s no imaginative play anymore, no pretend,” Ms. Wilson said with a sigh. 

Read the rest of the article here: Effort to Restore Children’s Play Gains Momentum

No Shortage of outdoor fun and adventures at the WFC!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

2011 Winter Speaker Series

Come and join us for excellent presentations, light snacks and drinks, shared with friends and fellow enthusiasts.

John Rousmaniere – January 11th
A published author, tremendous sailor, and excellent speaker, John presents us with: ‘The Golden Pastime Fine Yachts and Great Sailors’ as he interweaves the stories of three sailing icons-the New York Yacht Club, a classic yacht, and the Newport-Bermuda Race-with magnificent photographs and paintings, John makes clear the glamor and challenges of classic yachting.

Dr. Gene Kaplan - January 25th
A published author, dynamic and entertaining speaker, and a marine sciences field expert. Dr. Kaplan dazzled us with his talk on his book 'Sensuous Seas' last year. Now let your imagination wander on what could be next!

Erik Storck – February 3rd at the WaterFront Center
Erik and his crew, Trevor Moore, have been training for the 2012 Olympics in 49er since 2009. They both have had plenty of ups and downs during their training and also had some great experiences and triumphs. Fresh off a World Cup podium finish in Melbourne, Erik is ready to tell you about what it takes to train for the Olympics.

Nicholas Hayes - February 8th
Nick Hayes presents a talk and Q&A session on his book ‘Saving Sailing’: A provocative argument and action plan – sure to appeal to sailors everywhere – for the revival of family sailing . . . This is what community sailing is all about!

Josh Herman - February 15th  
Josh is a professional shipwright and has worked on a number of historic wooden boats including the Christeen. Come and join us to get your wooden-boat building fix, questions answered, and real-time updates on repairs to the Christeen.

Dr. James Cervino - @ 6:30 pm, March 1st
An accomplished Marine Scientist currently working at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. Dr. Cervino has an excellent insight into the world of marine sciences and is ready to answer your most challenging of questions, and we’re sure he’ll have an interesting story or two!

The Suggested Donation is $10 per presentation, payable at the door.

All talks begin on Tuesdays at 7:30pm at the home of Mrs. Storrs, located at
6 Cove Neck Road, Oyster Bay, NY.

Please call or email the WFC to confirm your attendance at any or all of these events.
Call: 516.922.7245

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Search for a Keel

The search for a keel has turned out to be much like one of the Great Waldo Searches. One moment you think you've found him and then you realize you have found some impostor posing as Waldo just to trick you!

Our search began in August for a piece of White Oak or Long Leaf Yellow Pine measuring 12"x15"x35'. We had reliable sources lined up and essentially thought it was a matter of time before our log arrived and it was milled to our specifications. As the months passed, our project progressed, and time grew short; we had a feeling our log was never going to arrive and a new search was needed.

Now some of us may think we have a tree in our backyard that is huge, a hidden beast on our property waiting to be plucked by some lucky shipwright or home builder. I assure you this is not the case. To produce a singular piece of timber that size we are talking about a massive tree, think Redwood Forest big (well maybe not that big). The tree in question would need to be at least 60 feet to the first branch, yes the first branch, and clear as a night sky in the dead of winter somewhere in Canada. To add to the fun and 'wow' factor the tree's diameter at the first branch (60 feet above the ground) would need to measure 18". Maybe you are thinking to yourself this is no problem, my friend who knows this guy who was roommates with someone in college has a relative with a tree you can come on over and chop it down any time! But what if we were to tell you this tree needs to be strait, like a Christmas tree only about 100 times larger?

So our search has led us near and far, we have spoken with many people in the industry who led us to sources like: I know this guy who is taking down an old barn, in this barn, in the basement, there are these timbers you can use - I hear they're great! Or, someone has miraculously come across multiple pieces of timber this size, but in order to get one we need to buy five. You get the idea, this is stuff stories are made of, published ones.  

       The search continues.....
A Large White Oak

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