Quality Parks - Park Resources - Coastal Research & Education Society of Long Island (CRESLI)
Coastal Research & Education Society of Long Island (CRESLI)    Coastal Research & Education Society of Long Island (CRESLI)Coastal Research & Education Society of Long Island (CRESLI)Coastal Research & Education Society of Long Island (CRESLI)

Coastal Research & Education Society of Long Island (CRESLI)

marine wildlife conservation to benefit dolphins, sea turtles, whales, and seals

Business Type - Contact Information
Arthur (Artie) Kopelman, Ph. D. , President
West Sayville, NY 11796

drartiek-cresli.smugmug.com -

Quality Parks Citizen Science Observations

Last Updated: 7/06/22; Contributors: Jahdai-H.; Jason-O.; Jansher-A; Bridget-W., Max-Z.

Overall Website Observations: I learned that this website prioritizes the importance of marine wildlife. They work to explore, understand and conserve coastal ecosystems with the help of public volunteers and researchers. The public participation has helped this organization discover that Long Island's coastlines provide an essential habitat for pinnipeds, cetaceans and sea turtles. These volunteers also raised greater awareness and appreciation of these animals and their habitats among fishers, boaters and the public. (7/06/22) 

The organization's activities are year-round specializing in marine mammals. Their activities are focused on the monitoring of whales in the summer and seals in other seasons. They promote awareness of these animals and encourage stewardship. (6/22/22)

CRESLI maintains a significant sphere of influence in the conservation of Long Island coastal ecosystems by funding marine research, cooperating with institutions internationally, informing visitors through a well-maintained website, and putting on educational opportunities for local communities of children and the general public alike. (5/25/22)

I learned that CRESLI (Coastal Research and Education Society for Long Island) was founded for the purpose of researching, raising awareness, and promoting conservation of our local coastal ecosystems. I also learned about the range of species of cetaceans, birds, seals, and sea turtles that are housed within these ecosystems. (4/30/22)

I honestly had no idea there were whale watching experiences in NY !! (1/14/22)

Long Island Explorer: Seals are protected by the "Marine Mammal Protection Act" against being killed or harassed without a permit. This Act defines harassment as anything that caused an abrupt change in behavior of a marine mammal. Harassment can cause significant stress upon seals and should be avoided at all times. Never feed them, never get in the water with them, and try to avoid disturbing them. If you are near a haul-out site, stay hidden, and move slowly. If there are many seals hauled-out, they will most likely be more at ease. If you notice that seals are all of a sudden looking right at you, or when one or two leave the haul-out to check you out, it’s your signal to hide or leave the site until they settle down.If you see a vessel or aircraft harassing the seals, it is requested that you take photographs or videos and contact the NYS DEC Police, or NOAA Fisheries, or Dr. Artie Kopelman who's contact information is (president@cresli.org).(7/06/22)

A cetacean is a type of mammal that is fully adapted to an aquatic existence, such a term is applied to whales, dolphins and porpoises. Cetaceans are evolutionarily related to hoofed mammals but have developed many adaptations branching off from their land counterparts such as "blowholes", a lack of a hind limb, and a large size. (6/22/22)

Accessible through a spotlight on the home page, one contributor shared their experience observing forty-three Atlantic harbor seals and two Atlantic gray seals on a sandbar within an LI coastal ecosystem. The seals migrate to that particular spot when bothered or pushed away from their nearby preferred haulout site. They actively react to disturbances from humans or other threatening stimuli and relocate along that park accordingly. (5/25/22)

The CRESLI website has a section dedicated to photos and videos. One of the most interesting that I found was a video of their boat being approached by two humpback whales, who would dive underneath the boat repeatedly, moving from port to starboard and back again. I can imagine that for people on the boat, this would have been an unforgettable experience. (4/30/22)

So much information can be found on this site about how learning about our coastal ecosystems (1/14/22) 

LI Geology & Plant Communities Observations: Seals native to the area frequently haulout on rock formations along beaches. Without a search bar or submenu with data about plant communities, though, I was unable to locate significant information about plants. (5/25/22)

The website spoke of the coastal plant life and how to maintain it so it stays a part of the coastal ecosystem.(1/14/22)

Freshwater Observations: These sea creatures are very sensitive to sound and is a major factor of their existence. Major company ships are disrupting the ocean and their wildlife habitat, the intesity of these ships causes these animals to want to flee from the deep oceans where they reside. Something we can do to help is to limit whats going into the water such as not flushing medicine down the drain; plastic and balloons are found in their habitats. If we can eliminate toxins around our homes this will make a huge improvement due to the circumstance that they end up in the ocean. We need to make efforts to be more aware of their presence. If we work to reduce nitrogen and CO2 in our waters this will help reduce ocean acidification affecting fish and shellfish and coral causing these organisms to die. If we reduce emissions by reducing sources and increase the amount of aquatic and land plants.  (7/06/22) 

The image depicts a pod of dolphins. There is a clear distinction between the senior members of the pod and the other constituent members. It invokes a sense of camaraderie between my humanity and these dolphins. They are highly intelligent animals from observations in the wild as well as being capable of cooperating with one another as a community. These animals' habitats are at risk due to the sheer amount of pollution which plagues our freshwater. Seeing this image inspires me to be more considerate of how I dispose of my plastics as the runoff is highly volatile and my garbage may end up in these waterways.(6/22/22)

The website features an abstract from a research article published for the World Marine Mammal Conference entailing conservation-related data analyses on the New York Bight, which is ”one of the busiest waterways in the world.” The article proposes sustainability initiatives to prevent detrimental commercial industries from impacting marine biodiversity in the habitat. It concludes by urging the implementation of such practices in order to best protect whales in the New York Bight. (5/25/22)

The water quality is becoming dangerous for our plant and sea life - they have several community events and classes to help educate people about their concerns.(1/14/22)

Trails, Greenways, & Sustainability Observations:To accompany this organization on their whale watches and seal watches there is a form to fill out for a reservation, they have local 6 hour trips and multi day trips located along the great south channels. (7/06/22) 

No trail information found, although there are popular spots for observing Atlantic seal haulouts as aforementioned. (5/25/22)

There are ton of events for coastal walks to observe wild life and whale watching etc.(1/14/22)

Wildlife Observations: Being that Dolphins are one of my favorite sea creatures, the Atlantic bottlenose dolphin is one of the best known of the "cetaceans", the classification of whales, dolphins, and porpoises.They are a cosmopolitan species found in the coastal and offshore waters of the world’s temperate to tropical seas. Bottlenose dolphins feed on a variety of fish and squid and some have learned to use sponges and mollusk shells to assist in food capture. In the North Atlantic, during the summer they can typically be found offshore as far north as Nova Scotia; and inshore, from Long Island southward. In 2011 and 2012, the summer sea surface temperatures around Long Island were the warmest. Those two years there was a drastic increase in the abundance and distribution of the inshore bottlenose dolphin. During the summer of 2013, sea surface temperatures were much cooler, and the inshore bottlenose dolphins were once again more limited. Since 2014, coastal bottlenose dolphins have become a regular component of the cetacean fauna in the New York waters. (7/06/22) 

Yes, they described the phylogenetic relationship of whales to other land mammals. Moreover, among cetaceans there are two types of taxa.(6/22/22)

The website contains a submenu with several checklists of native wildlife, specifically citing their common and scientific names. There is an abundance of specific information about particular species, and I was most surprised by and interested in the sheer amount of biodiversity in the regions which CRESLI governs, from harbor seal variations to porpoises and pelagic birds. (5/25/22)

My favorite photograph out of the many in the CRESLI Photos and Videos page was one of a humpback whale breaching. Seeing such a huge creature push itself out of the water testifies for the power of nature and inspires me to continue protecting our coastal ecosystems. (4/30/22)

The primary focus of CRESLI is on observing, protecting, and raising awareness for the marine life in coastal ecosystems. With a whole section on the website dedicated to listing species, each page gives detailed info on the origins, adaptations, and taxonomy of each species. I found that reading the page on the life history of sea turtles to be particularly interesting. (4/30/22)

Yes! mostly Marine life though(1/14/22)

Marine Ecology Observations: The whale watch volunteers play a significant role by being spotters for whales, dolphins, sea turtles, pelagic birds, other marine organisms, garbage and etc. Volunteers are stationed to look 360 degrees around the vessel, ostensibly for whales. Volunteers are also used to record data for a variety of oceanographic and biological parameters, under the direction of the naturalist.(7/06/22) 

Yes, I found it interesting that the organization relies on the witness testimony of commercial fishers and boaters to produce sightings of these marine mammals. (6/22/22)

Through the submenu Resources>Research Abstracts, there are seven featured CRESLI articles published to various marine ecology symposiums. The topics include conservation issues, biographical findings, feeding patterns, and evolutionary analyses pertaining to Long Island marine life.(5/25/22)

As stated previously, CRESLI primarily focuses on the marine wildlife in coastal ecosystems. Something I found particularly interesting were the numerous research abstracts that CRESLI published based off observations made on their expeditions.(4/30/22)

There are many classes and educational resources on the site about how to preserve the coast.(1/14/22)

 Finances: The website raises money by accepting donations, selling merchandise, educational dvd's, photographs, reusable bags and various monthly membership options. (7/06/22)

The website raises money through various means such as (tax-deductible) direct donations, annual memberships, paid educator programs, an online merchandise shop, and even via the sale of photos and videos taken in local ecosystems.  (5/25/22)

There seems to be multiple channels by which CRESLI raises money. First, there is a paid membership by which individuals or families can contribute money annually to support their mission. CRESLI also sells clothing. Finally, supporters can donate directly to their mission in the donate page. (4/30/22)

What Needs Improvement: Compared to prior park resource website I have reviewed (USFWS), this organization could provide more background and detail. (7/06/22)

There is no search functionality within the website, and the inability to query specific keywords makes finding specific information difficult and niche articles inaccessible. This resource could also benefit from a home page revamp, as a cleaner landing screen with consolidated information would be more inviting for website visitors. There is also a slight typo in the menu—”Logon” instead of “Login.”(5/25/22)

Website is designed quite well. The only thing that could be improved would be the addition of a search bar. (4/30/22)

The overall presentation of the Website is a little boring... It could use a refreshing modern update.(1/14/22)

Question Asked:  I asked, "Does your organization offer whale and sea watching all year round?" Their response was, "Yes. During the Fall, Winter, and Spring this is their Seal watching/research season. During the Summer season when is they focus on their Whale watching/research." (7/06/22)

Question: My name is Jason, I am interested in your operation as a marine mammal advocacy group. The use of whale/seal watching as a means of spreading awareness for these creatures whose habitats are frequently polluted and mishandled. Has the group also considered other means of raising awareness for alternative courses of action such as shore cleanups? Answer: Jason, Thanks for asking. So many other groups are doing cleanups here that we have our volunteers help out others in their cleanups.(6/22/22)

Question: What are some things that I can do as a student without a lot of money to support your mission? Answer: The best ways to help would to volunteer for these programs: the whale watching and whale research program the seal monitoring and seal research program(4/30/22)

I called and asked about volunteer opportunities, they appear to still be active but not as filled during the pandemic. [Editor's Note: Thus don't need as many volunteers, as the events are not as filled up as in prior years.] (1/14/22)

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citizen science & monitoring
climate change
marine & coastal conservation
marine mammals
water quality
wildlife of long island
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