STONINGTON, CT. At its Annual Meeting on March 27, the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut named the New England Science & Sailing Foundation (NESS) “Nonprofit of the Year.” This award recognizes the organization the provides a valued service with a physical presence in eastern CT. The Chamber’s Annual Meeting had over 230 people in attendance, celebrated the Chamber’s impact this past year, and featured the presentation of its regional Chamber awards. As part of the award presentation, NESS received a formal commendation from the state’s General Assembly endorsed by regional Senators and Members of the House of Representatives and signed by the President and Secretary of State.
When recognizing NESS, the Chamber highlighted the impact of the nonprofit’s unique curriculum, the positive impact NESS has on students, and NESS’s recent accreditation by the New England Association of Schools & Colleges as a school partner program.
Of the award, NESS President & CEO, Spike Lobdell, said: “We are honored to receive this award from the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut. We have come such a long way since our modest start in 2002 teaching 14 kids in dilapidated Optis. The NESS model of school partnerships is becoming even more critical to serve the educational needs of our students.”
NESS, a nationally-recognized and award-winning ocean adventure STEM education nonprofit, provides students from all walks of life with year-round programming that includes marine science, sailing, powerboating, and adventure sports. For 16 years, NESS has offered ocean adventure programs to the public. Since its formation, NESS has been steadfast in delivering on their four core values: inclusiveness, experiential learning, personal growth and stewardship. NESS served 9,000 students in 2018 across New England with over 50% of their students receiving some form of financial aid. Since its inception, NESS has enabled over 35,000 students to get out on the water.
New England Science & Sailing Foundation, Inc. (NESS), is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) ocean adventure education organization that engages students in experiential learning to build confidence, teamwork, and leadership skills. Marine sciences, adventure sports, powerboating, and sailing are platforms for inquiry-based learning, personal discovery, teaching respect and responsibility for the sea, and creating connections with the community. NESS operates year-round with families, schools, and organizations to provide high-quality programs that blend an innovative curriculum with exciting ocean adventure activities. For more information, visit