Events and Fundraisers

Upcoming Events and Fundraisers

3rd Annual Water Jubliee

Join us for the Third Annual Water Jubilee on August 20 (rain date August 21).

Ready… set… race for a cleaner Long Island Sound! Come enjoy a fun-filled day on historic City Island to benefit City Island Oyster Reef. Click here for more information and to register.

2nd Annual Viva la Sound Festival

CIOR’s first Viva la Sound festival in October 2022 was such a great success that we have embarked on our second festival, which will take place on Saturday, October 1, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (rain date October 2) in Ambrosini Field next to P.S. 175. Families and friends of the environment will be invited to attend the festival for a free, fun-filled day of educational activities. We will focus on the benefits of oyster restoration, various clean-water initiatives, and the importance of wetlands restoration on Long Island Sound.

CIOR has invited more that two dozen environmental nonprofits and community groups to participate in the festival by sponsoring tables that explain their programs and initiatives. We are also working with local schools to provide beautiful murals, and we will offer activities for children with an ecological theme. City Island restaurants will be donating food, and there will be music and lively demonstrations—of underwater diving, a water display by the Fire Department marine safe boat, and a tour of City Island’s Living Shoreline.

We anticipate that Viva la Sound will become an important annual event for City Island, and we are especially grateful to the Lily Auchincloss Foundation for their generous support of this year’s festival. 

Volunteer Opportunities (ongoing)

City Island Oyster Reef wouldn’t be where we are today without the efforts of our volunteers. If you’d like to get involved, check out our variety of volunteer opportunities that happen throughout the year.

Past Events and Fundraisers

1st Annual Viva la Sound

On October 2, we hosted the Viva la Sound festival, funded by a generous grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation – Long Island Sound Futures Fund 2020. 

The event included educational activities centered on City Island and the surrounding Long Island Sound waters, information from our partner organizations, live music and delicious food donated by local restaurants.

2nd Annual Water Jubilee

A huge thank you to everyone who joined us to make the 2nd Annual Water Jubilee a great success! Thirty-one kayakers and paddleboarders participated in the Kayak Challenge, and six sailboats competed in the Nautilus Cup Regatta in honor of Heike Neumister, PhD.

Beatrice Weinberger finished first in the high performance group, with a time of 38:41  and Jonathan Trambert finished first of the community paddlers, with a time of 40:16. Andy Giaccon was the first paddleboarder to make it around the island with a time of 1:02:42. This is all the more amazing because he started the race nearly four minutes after the starting gun. Ellen Murphy and Roy Smith on J/24 Panic Attack won the Nautilus Cup with a corrected time of 33:59.   

Our volunteers were critical to the event’s success, and we couldn’t have done it without everyone who donated their time, expertise and materials to ensure everything ran smoothly. We’d also like to extend our appreciation to the Morris Yacht and Beach Club for allowing us to use their facilities and their hospitality and City Island Yacht Club for allowing us to use their course marks and borrow from their sailing instructions, and the Harlem Yacht Club for lending us equipment for Race Committee.

1st Annual Water Jubilee

In September 2020, CIOR hosted our 1st Annual Water Jubilee. Since we were deep into the COVID pandemic it was a natural way to get together safely as a community while socially distancing on the water.

It included a kayak challenge around City Island in the morning and a sailing race in Eastchester Bay in the afternoon. This was followed by a reception and awards ceremony at the Morris Yacht Club. It was great fun and a successful fundraising event.

National Oyster Day Virtual 5K

In honor of National Oyster Day on August 5, 2020, CIOR had a Virtual 5K run on August 3 and 4, hosted by the City Island Roadies. Participants were encouraged to walk/run/skip/hop virtually for 3.1 miles anywhere at any time over the weekend. Everyone who participated will received a special CIOR canvas tote bag.

Mardi Gras

In February, a Mardi Gras fundraiser with a lively jazz ensemble brightened up the month just before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, which then required us to cancel all other 2020 events.

Holiday Party 2019

CIOR hosted a holiday party at the Harlem Yacht Club in December to thank our volunteers and restaurant partners for their participation in our programs.

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MalcolmChandler copy Happy Board Malcolm at Mic-Char,BZ,MC,RR copy KaiaSemantha-Plus2 copy Stephanie copy OrionMikeC copy Paul&BobBieder copy

September Social

Many members of the community attended our old-fashioned “social” at an historic waterfront home on the Island in September 2019. Local restaurants donated sumptuous signature appetizers and entrees, and organizations and businesses provided beer, wine, and gift items for our silent auction, which included sailing excursions, historic tours, theater tickets, private dinners, scuba-diving certification, and works of art.

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BBD & Rose BDD_Rose_Linda Buffet Sally at fundraiser BZ at fundraiser Table of people volunteers & silent auction Fundraiser fundraiser long shot

At our launch in May 2019 held at the Harlem Yacht Club, NYS Assemblyman Michael Benedetto and City Councilmember Mark Gjonaj expressed their support for CIOR, and Mr. Benedetto followed through with a small grant from the State of New York. In addition, Mr. Benedetto later introduced a bill to the NY Assembly that would benefit restaurants that provide shells to groups like ours.


The City Island Oyster Reef was launched in the spring of 2019 and became a not-for profit 501(c)(3) organization in December. We have begun to apply for grants, but our primary efforts have been in hosting events to educate the community about our goals in order to inspire donations as well as to engage volunteers.

The funds raised from these events helped to pay for a summer intern and to purchase shell collection supplies, a pick-up truck (for shell collection), insurance, and gas, as well as water-quality monitoring equipment.