An East Hampton High School graduate and a rising senior were recognized by the town board last Thursday for their efforts to construct an oyster reef in Accabonac Harbor.
Skye Tanzmann, who graduated this year, and Nick Cooper began internships with the not-for-profit South Fork Sea Farmers in the spring of 2022 as part of a research project. With that group and the town's Aquaculture Department, they helped to establish and maintain the first oyster reef in waters under the town trustees' jurisdiction, consisting of 50 square yards of bagged shells with a top layer of oyster spat on shells.
They also took the lead in preparing and submitting paperwork to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for two additional reefs in Accabonac Harbor, according to a proclamation read by Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc, and represented the town at the Long Island Science Congress.
"Be it proclaimed that the Town of East Hampton does hereby recognize and congratulate Skye Tanzmann and Nicholas Cooper for their research, innovation, and efforts in maintaining and improving the health of our waters, and we wish them all the luck in their future endeavors," Mr. Van Scoyoc read.
"Nick and I could not have done this," Skye said, "without the incredible support of Dr. Bob Tymann" of South Fork Sea Farmers "and Barley — John Dunne," director of the Aquaculture Department. "Their drive to inspire local youth in aquaculture and environmental science and activism is truly incredible."
"I also wanted to extend a big thank-you to the teachers of East Hampton High School," said Nick, who appeared via video conference, "who have really helped us set up this internship and have given us so much guidance in not just learning about our science topics, but also learning how to write emails and communicate with people in order to get to where we are today."
"We're very proud of you," the supervisor said, "and the efforts that you've undertaken to help keep our community a community that's ecologically balanced and has a sustainable and bright future."