2019 Island Sentinels (l-r) Alexa Rosenberg, Marc Rosenberg, Nicholas Danforth, Gardner Thors, Nicolas Hall, Betsy Conger and Wilson Thors.
“The Island Sentinel program was established to promote the idea that local traditional knowledge can and should be bridged with science,” said Justine Kibbe, who founded the Island Sentinel program in 2013. “Younger generations of the Fishers Island community are empowered with the capability and capacity to contribute to the preservation and conservation of its own lands.”
FIConservancy pays annually for year-round, summer and/or magnet students at FI School, who become part of a committed team mentored by Justine. To collect data, they walk or bicycle to 10 Island sites, including Dock Beach, South Beach, Hay Harbor, Silver Eel Cove, Race Point, Isabella beach, Chocomount beach, East Harbor, Middle Farms pond, and the Fishers Island Club beach.
Among the Sentinels’ observations are weather, wildlife, seaweed, marine/human debris, human presence, current activity at the site, and any general changes or inconsistencies. The Sentinels record data, which is collected in a database currently being developed for access on the Conservancy’s website.