“Fighting Erosion: Beach Grass Restoration Project” is Brodmerkel’s winning program. It is designed to introduce students, through hands-on learning experiences, to local marine environments and to foster an appreciation for and a stewardship of Long Island’s natural resources and unique habitats. With the impact of Hurricane Irene in 2011 and super-storm Sandy in 2012, there has been widespread erosion and destruction due to the extreme surges of water from the tides and high winds. Year-round habitats for wildlife have been affected or destroyed, along with local flora. The program’s main goal is to initiate restoration efforts of the dunes by planting dune or beach grass and by building new dunes along the shorelines. Throughout the process, students will learn about the impact of erosion and help to restore and beautify the local shoreline, specifically Cedar Beach in the town of Babylon, home of a memorial in remembrance of September 11th, 2001. Brodmerkel, who resides in North Babylon, hopes his students will ultimately learn the importance and functions of the affected habitats, their interconnectedness and fragility, and how everyone in the community can play a part in protecting them.