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: August 13, 2015
Status: Active

Evaluation of a barrier-island breach created by Hurricane Sandy at Fire Island National Seashore, N.Y.

Hurricane Sandy has created three open breaches in the barrier island system along the south shore of Long Island, N.Y. In response, the National Park Service has sought assistance from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) New York Water Science Center (NYWSC) to help evaluate the open breach condition in Federal Wilderness near the Old Inlet area of Fire Island National Seashore, N.Y. The NYWSC...

Date published: August 12, 2015
Status: Active

Monitoring of Waterways for Mosquito Insecticides, Suffolk County, New York

Introduction Mosquitoes are the principle vector of the West Nile Virus (WNV) which causes infections in humans and animals and has emerged as a public health threat throughout Long Island, NY. The WNV was first detected among birds and mosquitoes by the Suffolk County Department of Health Services (SCDHS) in 2000. In response to the public health concern, the USGS in cooperation with the SC...

Date published: August 12, 2015
Status: Active

Monitoring Tidal Water Elevation and Water Quality to Assess Tidal Wetland Loss in Four Embayments of Long Island Sound, New York

Introduction Recent trends analysis examining the effectiveness of tidal wetland regulations and the regulatory program of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) revealed that the regulations and regulatory program were highly effective in stemming the historic "fill and build" activities. However, the trends also revealed that tidal wetlands—specifically, low m...

Date published: August 11, 2015
Status: Active

Estuarine Physical Response to Storms—Jamaica Bay

Problem Coastal communities are susceptible to damage from coastal storms and associated storm surge, and although tidal wetlands provide a buffer against shoreline erosion and aid in shoreline stabilization, they too are vulnerable to the action of storms. Tidal wetland dynamics need to be better understood, as they are also intrinsically valuable as nursery, feeding, and refuge areas for m...

Date published: August 11, 2015
Status: Active

Southeastern New York Tide-Telemetry and Coastal-Flood-Warning System

The coastal areas of southeastern New York (fig. 1) are highly vulnerable to tidal flooding (fig. 2). Timely evacuation of people from flood-threatened areas in advance of approaching hurricanes and nor'easters (northeast coastal storms) requires adequate flood-warning time. To begin addressing this need for immediate information on coastal flooding, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in...

Date published: August 11, 2015
Status: Active

Assessment of Nutrient Loading to Jamaica Bay, Gateway National Recreation Area, New York

Significant changes in nitrogen loads to Jamaica Bay have likely occurred with progressive improvements to Water Pollution Control Plants (WCWPs) that discharge into the Bay. Data available from the New York City Department of Environmental Protection and others will be used to determine loads from WPCPs, combined sewer overflows, and the atmosphere. Selected wells within the USGS water qual...

Contacts: Mark J Benotti, Michele Fisher
Date published: August 6, 2015
Status: Active

Shallow groundwater quality in the Patchogue River basin, Suffolk County, New York

Background The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the Village of Patchogue and the New York Department of State, collected water-quality samples from 10 shallow wells within the village to document the effects of onsite wastewater disposal on groundwater discharging into the Patchogue River. The onsite disposal of wastewater within the Patchogue River basin - a riverine estuary...

Contacts: Irene J Fisher
Date published: August 6, 2015
Status: Active

Simulation of the Shallow Ground-Water Flow System at Fire Island National Seashore, Long Island, New York

Fire Island National Seashore (FIIS) is located on the barrier island along the extreme southern shore of western and central Suffolk County, New York. Interspersed throughout FIIS are seventeen residential beach communities that in the summer months greatly increase in population due to the arrival of summer residents and vacationers. Wastewater from the numerous homes and businesses in the...