The Ryan Center at Floyd Bennett Field

A new institute established to bolster the social and ecological research of Jamaica Bay and the communities around it has won millions of dollars in grant money to make the critical resource more resilient, and are turning to locals for their input.

The Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay (SRIJB) seeks to be the hub for all research about the area, including the environmental, social and economic resilience of the communities that abut it, which includes Sheepshead Bay. The institute will be the center of exchange between scientists, managers, policy makers and community leaders, and is hosted by Brooklyn College.

The organization won $7.7 million for the construction of a new center and a research vessel, and another $3.6 million from the Department of Interior for projects that will help advance understanding of resilience in coastal ecosystems.

With that money on its way, they’re now turning to the public to ensure their research responds to neighbors’ needs. They institute is hosting two focus groups this Thursday following a survey of community organizations it conducted in the spring, hoping to better understand what happened during Sandy and how it affected the communities on its borders.

The focus group will take place at the William Fitts Ryan Visitor Center (50 Aviation Road at Flatbush Avenue), on Thursday, September 4. The first session will be noon to 2pm, and the second at 6pm to 8pm. They will provide a light lunch of dinner.

To sign up, e-mail Bryce DuBoise at bd333@cornell.edu. The cutoff was technically August 27, but DuBoise told Sheepshead Bites that there are still several openings for those interested. Check out the flier for more info.

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