New York Water Science Center

Ecosystem Health

Ecological assessments are a central focus of multidisciplinary projects and programs managed by the NYWSC and managed in cooperation with the water and soil chemistry laboratory as well as other Federal, State, county, and city agencies, academia, and nongovernmental organizations in New York and nationwide. The NYWSC studies the condition of aquatic communities to assess the effects of various manmade and natural stressors and of resource management practices on the aquatic ecosystems and environments in the State and nationwide and in cooperation with a wide array of partners and monitors climate change indicators to identify trends and data gaps for indicators of climate and habitat change. Specific studies include the effects of forest harvesting on the health of ecosystems at headwaters, the influence of remediation of watersheds on ecosystem health, and the interactions between urban landscapes and ecosystem health.

Filter Total Items: 80
Date published: September 4, 2018
Status: Active

Niagara River AOC-wide Benthos BUI Assessment

A USGS biologist prepares to collect a sediment sample using a petit ponar dredge. Background:The Niagara River forms the boundary between the United States and Canada and was designated as a binational Area of Concern (AOC) in 1987 because past industrial discharges and hazardous waste sites had caused extensive degradation of aquatic habitats. Within the United States (eastern) portion of...

Contacts: Scott George, Barry P Baldigo, Brian Duffy
Date published: August 30, 2018
Status: Active

Quantitative Fish Surveys of Mohawk River Tributaries

Background Fish communities of the mainstem Mohawk River and Barge Canal have been well-documented (Carlson, 2015; George et al., 2016) but comparatively less information is available regarding the current status of fish communities in tributaries to the Mohawk River. This information gap is problematic because long-term shifts in species distributions or abundances due to climate change,...

Date published: May 4, 2018
Status: Active

Long-term trends in Rainbow Trout growth and naturalized populations in the Ashokan Basin

Background: Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) have thrived in the Esopus Creek since their introduction in the 1880s. The construction of the Ashokan Reservoir in 1915 changed the fishery by providing a stable lentic environment where adult trout could grow large and find refuge during periods when stream conditions become stressful. Although many adult Rainbow Trout spend time in the...

Date published: October 31, 2017
Status: Active

Monitoring the Status and Expansion of Round Goby Populations in the Mohawk River/Barge Canal System

Background: The waters of the Mohawk River and its tributaries are inhabited by some of the most diverse fish communities in the Northeast. The construction of the Erie Canal in 1825, and later the Barge Canal in 1918, enabled the westward expansion of fishes from the Hudson River drainage as well as the eastward expansion of fishes indigenous to the Great Lakes drainage. Today, almost half of...

Contacts: Barry P Baldigo, Scott George, Christopher Rees
Date published: October 27, 2017
Status: Active

Assessment of the contaminants in fish from AOCs in New York State: Pilot study in the remediated Buffalo River AOC

Background The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and Department of Health (NYSDOH), and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) plan to obtain data on chemical contaminants in fish from multiple Areas of Concern (AOCs) in New York State and use this information to evaluate fish consumption advisories, which are a critical component of most removal criteria for “...

Date published: October 19, 2017
Status: Active

A Comprehensive Water Resources Monitoring Program for the Central Pine Barrens Region, Suffolk County, New York

Problem Statement The sustainability of natural resources in the Pine Barrens region of Suffolk County, N.Y., is a concern for the Central Pine Barrens (CPB) Joint Planning and Policy Commission. The effects of development within and surrounding the Pine Barrens region present a risk to the quality and quantity of ground and surface water in this sensitive ecosystem. Development in the area...

Date published: September 13, 2017
Status: Active

New York Statewide Fish Collection: Contaminants in fish from the Buffalo River AOC

Background: The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) plan to obtain data on chemical contaminants in fish from multiple Areas of Concern (AOCs) in New York State and use this information to evaluate fish consumption advisories, which are a critical component of most removal criteria for “Restriction on Fish and Wildlife...

Contacts: Barry P Baldigo, Scott George, Damianos Skaros
Date published: June 9, 2017
Status: Active

Responses of fish assemblages to changing environmental conditions in the Neversink River and Rondout Creek

Problem The Neversink River and Rondout Creek are historic trout fishing and recreational streams in the heart of the Catskill Mountains of southeastern NY. Waters throughout upper reaches of both rivers currently range from neutral to severely acidic due to deposition of acid rain throughout their watersheds. Fish surveys conducted by the USGS during the late 1980s and early 1990s found that...

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: September 1, 2016
Status: Active

Sediment toxicity and status of benthic macroinvertebrate communities in the remediated Buffalo River Area-of-Concern

Background : Contaminated bed sediments in much of the Buffalo River AOC (Figure 1A, 1B) were removed (dredged) between 2011 and 2015. Plans to monitor and assess the effectiveness of this management action on 8 of 9 beneficial-use-impairments (BUI), included the benthic macroinvertebrate (benthos) BUI, were revised by the Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper (Riverkeeper, 2014). Funds needed to...

Contacts: Barry P Baldigo, Scott George, Brian Duffy
Date published: March 14, 2016
Status: Active

GLRI Edge of Field Watershed Monitoring Project

Problem: The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) was established to accelerate ecosystem restoration in the Great Lakes by confronting the most serious treats to the region, such as nonpoint source pollution, toxic sediments, and invasive species. Much of the effort associated with GLRI is being placed near the most impacted areas in the Great Lakes Basin. Priority Watersheds have bee...

Contacts: Brett Hayhurst