New York Water Science Center

Coastal Science

The NYWSC carries out multidisciplinary science activities across the State’s diverse coastal waters and landscapes on the Atlantic Ocean and the Great Lakes, including the many interconnected waterways, the barrier beaches that form and erode continually, the open waterways that are prone to the effects of major storms and hurricanes, and upland surface-water and groundwater source areas. These areas are also some of the most productive ecosystems in the State and host most of the population and economic development of the State. As a result, the interplay of environmental- and human-health concerns is a prominent thread that connects much of the coastal science activities of the USGS and involves cooperation not only among science disciplines but also across the Nation and internationally. Major topics of study include nearshore environmental health (ecosystem health and water and sediment quality), beach and barrier dynamics, tide and wave hydrodynamics, wetlands, climate and land-use change, and flood hazards.

Filter Total Items: 32
Date published: March 30, 2018
Status: Archived

Hurricane Sandy

Gale- to storm-force winds associated with the passage of Sandy across central New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania that lasted 12 to 18 hours caused major to record coastal flooding in southeastern New York on October 29, 2012...more


Date published: March 1, 2018
Status: Active

Groundwater Sustainability of the Long Island Aquifer System

Groundwater sustainability can be best defined as the development and use of groundwater in a manner that can be maintained for an indefinite time without causing unacceptable environmental or socioeconomic consequences. Informed management of the Long Island aquifer system can help ensure a regionally sustainable groundwater resource. This study will evaluate the sustainability of Long Island...

Date published: February 28, 2018
Status: Active

Hydrogeologic-Framework Mapping - Long Island, New York


Long Island is underlain by unconsolidated Holocene deposits, glacial deposits of Pleistocene age, and coastal-plain deposits  of Late Cretaceous age. These sediments...

Date published: February 28, 2018
Status: Active

Saltwater-Interface Mapping - Long Island, New York


Saltwater intrusion is the most common type of water-quality degradation in coastal-plain aquifers. In coastal areas, the hydraulic head under predevelopment (nonpumping) conditions is higher on land than in the surrounding...

Date published: February 25, 2018
Status: Active

Groundwater Sustainability - Long Island, New York


Groundwater sustainability can best be defined as the development and use of groundwater in a manner that can be maintained for an indefinite time without causing unacceptable environmental or socioeconomic consequences. Informed...

Date published: October 31, 2017
Status: Active

Long Island Groundwater Network

U.S. Geological Survey Hydrologic Monitoring on Long Island, New York

Groundwater is the sole source of water supply for more than 3 million people on Long Island, New York. Large-scale groundwater pumpage, installation of sanitary- and storm-sewer systems, and frequent variations in...

Date published: June 9, 2017
Status: Active

Using Microbial Source Tracking to Identify Pollution Sources in Pathogen Impaired Embayments in Long Island, New York

Problem The presence of pathogens in Long Island marine embayments and the hazards they pose to marine resources and human health is of increasing concern. Many waterbodies on the New York State Section 303(d) List of Impaired Waters have pathogens listed as the primary pollutant that are suspected to originate from urban/storm runoff. There is neither a clear understanding of the relative...

Date published: June 8, 2017

Long Island - Location and Physical Setting

Long Island, the eastern-most part of New York State, extends east-northeastward roughly parallel to the Connecticut coastline. It is bounded on the north by Long Island Sound, on the east and south by the Atlantic Ocean, and on the west by New York Bay and the East River. Long Island is joined to the mainland specifically, to the Borough of the Bronx, which is one of the five boroughs of New...

Contacts: Jack Monti
Date published: June 7, 2017

Long Island Topography

The present landforms of Long Island are the result of many geologic processes, some of which began many millions of years ago and some of which began only recently. Most of the major features of the present-day topography, however, are related to the last glaciation, which ended approximately 22,000 years ago.

Contacts: Jack Monti
Date published: May 29, 2017

Long Island Fresh and Saltwater Relations/Interactions

Because saltwater has a greater density than freshwater, fresh groundwater in coastal aquifers will overlie any saltwater that is present in the aquifer at depth (Figure 14).

Contacts: Jack Monti
Date published: May 28, 2017

Long Island State of the Aquifer System

One of the most important concepts to understand is that volumes of water pumped from a groundwater system must come from somewhere and must cause a change in the groundwater system. Another important concept is that water table aquifers are hydraulically connected to the streams that drain them. Therefore, pumping water from aquifers that are hydraulically connected with surface-water bodies...

Contacts: Jack Monti
Date published: May 27, 2017

Long Island Water Availability

The foundation of any groundwater analysis, including those analyses whose objective is to propose and evaluate alternative management strategies, is the availability of high-quality data. Some, such as precipitation data, are generally available and relatively easy to obtain at the time of a hydrologic analysis. Other data and information, such as geologic and hydrogeologic maps, can require...

Contacts: Jack Monti