Fire Island National Seashore celebrated 2012 National Park Week with a wide range of programs and events, starting with a National Junior Ranger Day celebration at the Fire Island Lighthouse on April 21, Earth Day hikes at the William Floyd Estate and into the Fire Island Wilderness, an Arbor Day walk at the William Floyd Estate, and concluding with the park's 8th Biennial Science Conference.
This year's 2-day science conference, which was initiated in 1997 by Chief of Resources Management Michael Bilecki, included a new component: a field trip to park research sites. On Saturday, April 28, participants were ferried from Patchogue to Sailors Haven/Sunken Forest and Watch Hill, where demonstrations of four current research projects could be observed. The chance to see this work in the field was valuable for the general public, and for the interpretive staff and volunteers who attended. "This is relevant material that will be incorporated into our Sunken Forest Tours at Sailors Haven and our Salt Marsh Canoe Tours at Watch Hill," said Chief of Interpretation Kathy Krause. Park interpreters also conduct a pre-season, on-site Teachers Workshop at Sailors Haven in May.
Articles generated for Fire Island's local newspapers help bring current research and studies to the attention of residents and visitors to the seventeen communities that exist within the boundaries of Fire Island National Seashore.
Abstracts from the Seashore's past five science conferences are posted on the park's web page. For more information about this program, contact Michael Bilecki at 631-687-4760.