Coastal Science and Renewable Energy Consortium
The Coastal Science & Renewable Energy Consortium will offer an opportunity to provide facilities and services to a broader community through an expanded collaborative partnership that will in turn leverage funding and shared resources towards a financially sustainable future. The Town is currently in the planning stages, working with interested partners, to develop the mission, objectives, management, operation, and budget considerations for a consortium of academic institutions, environmental and education organizations, government agencies, businesses, and others with an interest in the coastal environment, renewable energy, sustainability, and resiliency.
The Coastal Science & Renewable Energy Consortium (the Consortium) will offer researchers, educators, policy makers, environmental advocates, businesses, and other opportunities to work individually and collaboratively on projects and programs related to renewable energy, sustainability, and the natural and built coastal environments by utilizing the facilities, equipment, and expertise at the Town of Hempstead’s Department of Conservation & Waterways in Point Lookout, NY.
Goals & Objectives
The Consortium will offer opportunities to collaborate and share resources with others, while maximizing the utilization of its unique waterfront facilities to advance research and education in coastal sciences and renewable energy and to support onsite private sector applications and experimentation in related industries. Research and education opportunities will be available for academic institutions, environmental organizations, government and commercial entities, and other interested parties. Facilities available to members will include its analytical laboratory, renewable energy park, shellfish hatchery, greenhouse, vessels, marina, classrooms, office spaces, and field equipment. Members will share the facilities and equipment and associated human resources through the TOH and other Consortium members and the costs associated with their utilization.
Participants will conduct environmental, ecological, chemical, physical and related research into coastal systems and impacts from human activities and climate change. Studies will be possible on measures to improve resilience, sustainably manage resources, develop renewable energy and energy efficiency, and reduce anthropomorphic impacts on coastal systems.
The facilities on this barrier island are ideal from which to launch field studies by boat and to examine living marine organisms and the marine systems that support them. The Renewable Energy Park can host those interested in learning about solar, wind, and hydrogen technologies and their applications. Hands-on experiences and technical training can contribute to workforce development in related industries.
Coastal and energy industries bring expertise in marine structures, sediment management, corrosion control, vessel and utility operation, shellfish and seaweed aquaculture, and energy technology. Private sector research, training, field and laboratory testing add value to the Consortium and present collaborative opportunities.
Unique Facilities, Services, and Programming
The 5,650 sq. ft. analytical laboratory has an extensive equipment and instrumentation inventory and analytical history. Capabilities include metals, volatile and semi-volatile organics, pathogens, and typical nutrient and physical water quality and sediment parameters. It has advanced microscopy capability and expertise in phytoplankton (including HABs) identification and enumeration.
RENEWABLE ENERGY PARK
Geothermal ground source heat pumps heat and cool the Net Zero Energy Home and Administration Building. A 100 kW wind turbine powers the laboratory and hydrogen fueling station where electrolysis water is split via to generate hydrogen for fuel cell electric vehicles. Solar photovoltaics power an EV charging station.
SHELLFISH HATCHERY AND SEAWEED CULTURE FACILITY
The shellfish hatchery produces millions of seed clams and oysters to repopulate Town waters. Its 2019 addition was funded by the Governor’s Shellfish Restoration Initiative. It operates on solar and wind energy with battery backup and its large FLUPSY (FLoating UPweller SYstem) by solar power, an innovative improvement funded by NYSERDA in 2008. Facility staff recently established a sugar kelp seedling nursery.
MARINE NATURE STUDY AREA
The 52-acre Hempstead Bay preserve features boardwalks through coastal ecosystems with unique visual aids for passive tours. Staff conduct guided tours for groups, assist visitors, and support field saltmarsh research. With FEMA funding, a new interpretive and teaching facility is is the design stages.
A variety of native plant species are grown in the greenhouse for upland and coastal habitat restoration and stormwater management. Various vegetables are cultivated for the Sustainable Living program. Other plants are grown for plant research. Opportunities to cultivate saltmarsh restoration species are available.
VESSELS AND MARINAS
The Town owns and operates four marinas with nearly 700 boat slips. Dockage is available for research and educational vessels. The Town maintains over 30 vessels of various sizes and capabilities along with service equipment and experienced in-house boat mechanics.
FIELD SAMPLING EQUIPMENT
Town and cooperating researcher equipment include water quality sondes (mobile units and field deployed), survey grade GPS equipment, seine nets, sediment sampling grabs, coring devices, and more.
ADMINISTRATION AND EDUCATION CENTER
The Administration and Education Center has staff offices, a conference room, and an auditorium that could host workshops and classes.