Long Island Sound is a regional treasure that lies just out of reach for many of the young people who live near its shores.
SoundWaters, the environmental and education leader based in Stamford, Connecticut, advances environmental justice and educational equity by creating broader access to Long Island Sound.
“At SoundWaters we believe that our community is stronger when we are connected to, and learning from, the Sound,” says Leigh Shemitz, SoundWaters’ president.
SoundWaters work began 30 years ago, with a focus on access and education and now reaches over 30,000 students annually.
Every day, on land and at sea, through education and research, SoundWaters inspires and teaches important life skills to children and young adults from all backgrounds to understand, value and protect the precious resource of Long Island Sound.
This year, with the support of the Blavatnik Family Foundation, SoundWaters broke ground on a new Harbor Center. When it opens in Spring 2022, the SoundWaters Harbor Center will enable growth in three key areas: youth development, green job training and advancing student science research.
“This building is about helping kids better understand the environment they live in, and it’s about learning in a different way,” said Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont at the groundbreaking ceremony in June.
SoundWaters makes its greatest impact through education.
The Blavatnik Family Foundation’s gift established the Blavatnik Family Science Fund, which will provide critical funding to sustain the unique SoundWaters Explorers program for Stamford 6th grade students and teachers, an immersive environmental science program embedded in the local middle school science experience.
Funding from the Blavatnik Family Science Fund will ensure that all 1,300 6th grade students in Stamford, a district in which 57% of students are eligible for free/reduced lunch, will study Long Island Sound at SoundWaters through 2025, regardless of their ability to pay.
With the Blavatnik Family Foundation’s support, the activities at SoundWaters new Harbor Center will expand youth development programs, launch green jobs training and advance student science research. In the years ahead, it adds up to many thousands of young people learning, growing and thriving amid the million-acre classroom of Long Island Sound.