SoundWaters Receives $3 Million Leadership Gift from the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation

SoundWaters today announced that it has received a $3 million leadership gift from the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation to support a new SoundWaters Harbor Center in Stamford’s Boccuzzi Park. Construction on the 12,100 square-foot building, which also includes beach restoration and public access to the water, is currently under way and is slated to be completed in mid-2022.

“Steven and Alexandra Cohen, through their charitable foundation, have made a tremendous investment to advance opportunity and access at the heart of Stamford: our waterfront,” said SoundWaters President Leigh Shemitz. “At SoundWaters, we believe that our community is stronger when we are connected to, and learning from, the Sound. Complementing our existing Coastal Education Center and Schooner, the Cohen SoundWaters Harbor Center in Boccuzzi Park will enable the next generation to develop life skills, job skills, and college skills through study and training on Long Island Sound.”

“SoundWaters is more than a neighbor to us, they are an important part of our community providing education, access, and opportunity to our local youth while protecting our local waters.  We are more than happy to support their new Harbor Center,” said Alex Cohen, President, Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation.

“SoundWaters has played a critical role educating and enriching youth in Stamford for more than 30 years,” said Stamford Mayor David Martin. “The new Cohen SoundWaters Harbor Center allows SoundWaters to expand this role, and anchors the City’s revitalization of Boccuzzi Park, while increasing resources for education, maritime job training, and recreational access to the Long Island Sound. I thank SoundWaters for their continued service to our young people and encouraging environmental responsibility for the Sound, and I thank the Cohens for their leadership and commitment by providing the support to make this wonderful Harbor Center dream a reality,” said Mayor Martin.

The Cohen SoundWaters Harbor Center will be the base for three core programs: Young Mariners, which instills life skills and energizes young students through sailing, academics, and a sense of community; Harbor Corps, hands-on maritime job skills training for young adults; and, Research Intensive, college-level marine research opportunities for high school students. It will also include launch access for SoundWaters’ fleet of sailboats, and publicly available kayaks and paddleboards, as well as the organization’s research vessel and its iconic three-masted schooner.

The Cohen SoundWaters Harbor Center is a community-funded project with 80 percent of the funding coming from private sources. A groundbreaking ceremony for the Cohen SoundWaters Harbor Center will take place later this spring.

SoundWaters is a 501(c)3 organization. Founded in 1989, we advance environmental justice and educational equity by creating broad access to Long Island Sound. Our community is stronger when we are connected to and learning from the Sound. Click to learn more.

The Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation is committed to inspiring philanthropy and community service by creating awareness, offering guidance and leading by example to show the world what giving can do. Since launching the Foundation in 2001, Steven and Alexandra Cohen have generously funded local and national nonprofit organizations that uplift the communities in which they serve. The Cohens’ giving reflects their personal connection with the causes that inspire them. To learn more, please visit or follow @CohenGive on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram