Mission, Vision, Values & Strategic Impact Statement
The Center for Marine Education and Recreation at Oyster Bay, known as the WaterFront Center, is a not-for-profit 501©(3) organization. Federal Tax ID #11-3539597.
Connecting people to the water through education and recreation.
For everyone to understand and appreciate the marine environment so that they enjoy and preserve it for all time.
We believe that everyone should have access to the waters of Oyster Bay.
We believe in protecting and preserving the estuary environment.
We believe that learning is shaped and made permanent through enthusiasm, active engagement, discovery and enjoyment.
We believe that stewardship stems from knowledge, appreciation and personal connection.
We believe in encouraging environmentally sound recreation on the Bay that uses renewable energy such as sailing and kayaking.
We believe that shared pleasurable experiences create lasting multigenerational bonds and build community.
We believe it is necessary to have an expert teaching staff and a wide range of quality programs.
We believe safety is essential in everything we do.
We believe in fun.
STRATEGIC IMPACT STATEMENT
In 10 years, people from all walks of life will have access to a clean and healthy Bay, and many families and friends will be sailing together in boats rented from or built at the WaterFront Center. Maximizing use of the unique public facilities on the Western Waterfront developed under the leadership of Senator Carl Marcellino by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and the Town of Oyster Bay, the Center will be providing skills and equipment for anyone to get out on the water for learning and enjoyment. The Center will have reached and engaged students from Pre-K through High School, college and late adulthood in marine environmental science and building, maintaining and handling boats. Their stewardship will ensure the Bay’s continued health.
Aaron Cuison – Outreach Coordinator
Mesmerized by the beauty of our bays and estuaries from a young age, it was not until a pre-college course aboard the Lady Maryland that Aaron would realize preserving our waterfronts and strengthen coastal communities would forever be a part of his life. While earning a B.A. in Marine Conservation and a B.A. in Sustainability Studies at Stony Brook University, Aaron assisted in co-founding the Conscience Point Shellfish Hatchery. He would literally help lay the foundations of a “do-it- yourself” community built & run oyster hatchery focused on bringing back waterfront literacy to the village of Southampton.
In a twist of fate that placed him in Staten Island during Hurricane Sandy, Aaron witnessed how vulnerable both the natural and built environments are to climate change. After college Aaron would join the Waterfront Alliance in NYC and assist in developing the Waterfront Edge Design Guidelines (WEDG) program, a design based evaluation system that promotes waterfront developments that are storm resilient, publically accessible, and ecologically friendly.
Glad to be a part of the team as Outreach Coordinator, Aaron hopes to grow the WaterFront Center community.
Heather Grosso – Waterfront Coordinator
Heather, a Long Island native, grew up sailing on the coast of Penobscot Bay during her summers spent in Owls Head, Maine. She grew up within a community sailing program, like the Waterfront Center. This is where Heather became invested in the sport, and cultivated dedication to sharing her knowledge and love for sailing to all people
Heather graduated from Stony Brook University, where she was a member of the sailing team.
In 2011, Heather joined the Waterfront Center as a junior instructor, where her passion to share access to the water was amplified. In 2016, Heather was the proud recipient of the Junior Sailing Association of Long Island Sound’s Susie Trotman Award, for outstanding sailing instruction. She is thrilled to continue her tenure at the WFC and is looking forward to expanding access to the sport of sailing and the love of the water to more people.
Michelle Hollander – STEAM Coordinator
It took only a couple of experiences at Connecticut’s Project Oceanology to convince Michelle that she wanted to become a marine scientist. In addition to loving the creatures as well as the interactions and physical processes that make the sea such a dynamic environment, Michelle knew that she wanted to make science more accessible. Nonetheless, Michelle’s favorite activity is dinghy sailing.
Michelle has her B.S. and M.S. in Marine Science from the University of Connecticut and the University of New England, respectively. During her master’s work, Michelle taught as a National Science Foundation in local middle schools, and went on to do STEM education and program planning at the Connecticut Science Center. She even aided in some initial planning for Mystic Seaport’s re-launching of the Charles W. Morgan, America’s last wooden whaling ship afloat and worked as an educator at the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center in Mystic, Connecticut, where she handled a myriad of creatures from snakes to owls.
Cameron Jenness – Education Director
Born and raised in Huntington, Long Island, Cameron has had an affinity to the water ever since he was a young boy. He took his first Marine Science course at Saint Anthony’s High School, and, after graduation, went on to earn a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Marine Biology from the University of Maine at Orono. It was while spending a “Semester at the Sea” at the Darling Marine Center in Walpole, ME, that Cameron first recognized the importance of hands on learning and science.
After college, Cameron returned to Long Island and spent six years working as an outdoor educator/naturalist for Nassau County BOCES. As a teacher, he encouraged his students to get out of their comfort zone and explore nature as best they could. Cameron came to the WaterFront Center in the summer of 2012 as a Bay Buccaneer’s instructor and was asked to stay on as Education Director.
Since 2012, Cameron has overseen the WFC education department, fine-tuning, teaching, and creating marine education and conservation programs that serve students of all ages and grade levels. Additionally, Cameron acts as the WFC site coordinator for the Cornell Cooperative Horseshoe Crab Study and is the main caretaker of all marine animals living in the classroom touch tanks.
Cameron is a REACH coordinator and Boy Scouts of America Merit badge Counselor and is First Aid and CPR/AED Certified. He serves as a judge for the Long Island Envirothon and for the New York Science and Math Association high school poster competition.
David L. Waldo – Executive Director
Dave was sailing before he could walk, later racing in regattas throughout the country. A graduate of the University of Washington, Dave spent four years on the sailing team and was the captain of the ultimate team. During college, he spent his summers coaching on Long Island Sound, guiding his sailors to national level events. Beginning in 2003, Dave ran his own small business performing quality control for U.S Sugar Corporation, testing the glucose makeup of sugar molecules. In 2006 he started a career in commercial real estate, representing clients and properties including those owned by Equity Commonwealth and Long Island Industrial.
Dave was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to join the WaterFront Center team in 2009. Since then he has had the privilege and joy of working alongside an extremely dedicated and talented group of volunteers and staff; who collectively work towards providing more people, each year, access to the marine environment.
Board of Directors
Ian N.H. Gumprecht Co-President
Michael Drennan Co-President
Larry Schmidlapp Vice President
Howard Szarfarc Treasurer
Pamela Martocci Secretary
George Ellis Recording Secretary
Bryan H. Lawrence
Jacob K. Daniel
Eugene H. Kaplan, PhD
Mary Alice Kolodner
James D. Weinman