CCE’s Marine Environmental Learning Center: Where Wonders Never Cease

education, environment, water, youth
Southold, NY, USA

Join forces with California Closets to inspire a community of passionate environmentalists!

Imagine a place where you can see, smell and hold the environment, where science becomes an experience, not just an idea. Where kids touching stuff is never a no-no but a greatly encouraged yes-yes!

California Closets is helping to bring that vision to life, leading the renovation of the Classroom and Touch Tank room at Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Marine Environmental Learning Center to make it a place where wonders never cease. Now we need to raise additional funds to cover the cost of Wish List items that will make this educational space come alive while supporting the Center’s conservation efforts!

How this project makes a difference

The goal of this project is to to complete the Learning Center renovation with educational enhancements so that marine science will quite literally, come to life.

California Closets has donated materials and labor … valued at more than $30,000 for a complete face-lift of the current facilities, setting the stage for a state-of-the-art educational space. Now we need your support to purchase and install the finishing touches! Your donations will go towards these “wish list” items!

  • Coastal Plant Greenhouse Expansion & New Doors -$2,000 to support the Center’s conservation and preservation efforts of coastal plants such as eelgrass. Eelgrass habitats are home to many native species including the lined seahorse.
  • Seahorse Aqua Tower Tank – $1,500 to aid in native seahorse conservation projects which will help local populations rebound!
  • LCD Digital Microscope – $300 to observe live or preserved shellfish larvae to create a unique learning experience about the hatchery where local clams, oysters, and scallops are grown!
  • Megapixel Digital Video Flex – $700 to showcase the tube feet of sea stars, sea urchins, and other marine life. This teaching aid is designed to project images for large group presentations and create an exciting and memorable learning experience.
  • 250 Gallon Fish Tank – $2,500 to populate with local fish species for a more tangible educational experience!

What happens when science becomes so touchable? It ignites a tinderbox of curiosity and wonder, sparking a desire to know, become and do more.

Our Goal

Make Learning Fun


Good people. Good business.

California Closets of Suffolk County with locations in Ronkonkoma and Southampton, NY has been locally owned and operated for more than 30 years. Owner Anthony DeVincenzo is a big believer in and supporter of science and engineering education. His commitment to education makes California Closets slogan, “Designing Better Lives” more than a slogan – it’s an ethos. This is his first foray into marine science: “When you live and do business in an area like this, surrounded by water, it’s important to educate not just our children, but all of us so that we can sustain what we are so lucky to have.”

Thank you!
This project ended 11/06/2017 and raised a total of $52,675
  • Resnicow and Associates $250.00

  • The Sarakatsannis Family $1000

  • Honor C. Randall

    L.I.' woodlands gone..

  • Judi Caron

  • Geoffrey & Cynthia Wells

  • Marissa Bridge

    Allan Bridge

  • Glover Perennials

  • California Closets $30000.00

  • Robin's Island Foundation $2500.00

  • Robert Anderson $500.00

  • John Kenney $100.00

  • Jack & Jane Costello $250.00

  • William Witzke $500.00

  • Chris & Andrea Manfredi $250.00

  • Tammy Marchi

  • Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County

    Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Marine Program has been working to protect and enhance our marine resources through education, applied research projects, and stewardship initiatives since 1985. The Back to the Bays Initiative was launched in efforts to better connect communities to to the bays. There are stewardship sites established at numerous locations in the Peconic Estuary, Long Island Sound, and throughout the Shinnecock and Moriches Bay systems. The work conducted at these sites, along with local government and community support, has been able to seed our bays with millions of shellfish, restore over one hundred thousand shoots of eelgrass to our marine meadows, and educate thousands of children through school and field based educational outreach programming. Through this program residents, school groups, and community groups are provided with educational and hands-on opportunities to get involved with CCE’s science-based efforts to:

    Protect and enhance water quality of our bays
    Rebuild coastal and marine habitat and create resilient shorelines
    Restore and enhance populations of commercially and recreationally important finfish and shellfish.

    Learn more here.

  • California Closets

    We believe exceptional design transforms people’s lives. We see home as more than a place—it is a source of comfort and refuge, a space for connection and celebration. Everything we do at California Closets is rooted in our commitment to offer quality custom storage solutions that help people become better versions of themselves, with more time and space to focus on what matters most.

    Learn more here.