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.

How this project makes a difference

The goal of this project is to to complete the Learning Center renovation with enhanced touch tanks and interactive stations 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. We need to raise an additional $30,000 to cover high touch learning enhancements including:

  • new tanks and appropriate lighting to showcase local species and rotating exhibits such as live tropical larval species transported by the Gulf Stream into our waters during the warm summer months.
  • Augmented Reality Sandbox, 3D simulation of currents, saltmarsh dynamics, and shellfish and habitat restoration efforts.
  • Interactive marine science stations showcasing scientific projects undertaken at SCMELC such as aquaculture, habitat restoration, water quality sampling and DNA analysis.
  • Visual technology upgrades in our hatchery to allow visitors to see what’s coming to life in the hatcheries throughout the year.
  • Expansion of coastal plant greenhouse area to improve accessibility and involvement in The Center’s restoration work.

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.”

Support this project
67% Funded
31 Days To Go
  • 06/24/2017
  • $78,660
  • $52,425
Pledges are accepted and processed until the fundraising campaign expires.

  • Donate $25
    A thank you on Facebook

  • Donate $50
    General CCE Back to the Bays Membership

  • Donate $100
    General CCE Back to the Bays Membership and name on a donor plaque and Back to the Bays tote bag

  • Donate $250
    General CCE Back to the Bays Membership, name on a donor plaque and Back to the Bays T-shirt

  • Donate $350
    General CCE Back to the Bays Membership, name on a donor plaque and Back to the Bays Sweatshirt

  • Donate $500
    General or Buiness CCE Back to the Bays Membership, name on a donor plaque and Back to the Bays Sweatshirt

  • Donate $1000
    Same as $500 plus 2 tickets to the Taste + Tour Celebration at the Marine Center on June 24th

  • Donate $2500
    limited to only 2 available for
    4 Available Lifetime Back to the Bays Membership, name on donor plaque, special dedication plaque on touch tank, plus 6 tickets to the Taste + Tour Celebration at the Marine Center on June 24th
  • 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.