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: 85
Date published: January 9, 2017
Status: Active

New York Water Science Center Data Program

Objective: The USGS New York Water Science Center (NYWSC) works with other Federal agencies as well as with State, municipal, and tribal agencies to provide research and data about water-related issues. Relevance and Impact: The NYWSC leads the scientific and water-resources management communities by providing high-quality, timely, and unbiased scientific data, reports, and other information...

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
Date published: January 25, 2016
Status: Active

Acidification and Recovery and Development of Critical Loads of Acidity for Stream Ecosystems of the Adirondack Region of New York State

BACKGROUND The Adirondack region of New York has a history of relatively high atmospheric sulfur (S) and nitrogen (N) deposition (Greaver et al. 2012). Adirondack ecosystems have been impacted by these inputs, including soil and surface water acidification, and impaired health and diversity of forest vegetation and aquatic biota. Air quality management, through the Clean Air Act, the U.S....

Date published: January 14, 2016
Status: Active

Effects of acid-base chemistry on biology of lakes and streams in the Adirondack Mountains

BACKGROUND Watersheds of the Adirondack Mountains receive high levels of acid deposition resulting from atmospheric emissions of nitrogen and sulfur oxides. Acidic deposition has been shown to reduce acid neutralizing capacity (ANC) and calcium (Ca) concentrations, and increase acidity and aluminum (Al) concentrations in soils and surface waters, and affect forest health as well as fish and...

Contacts: Barry P Baldigo
Date published: November 30, 2015
Status: Active

Comprehensive Delineation of Groundwater Source Areas and Times-of-travel to Long Island Streams and Estuaries

Problem The discharge of freshwater and associated loading of nutrients and other dissolved constituents from the Long Island aquifer system to surrounding estuaries and their tributaries are increasingly recognized as critical factors in the health of these ecosystems. However, further work is needed to scientifically characterize these factors and present them to the public in an...

Contacts: Paul Misut
Date published: October 20, 2015
Status: Active

Hydrogeology and Water Quality of the North Shore Aquifer in Locust Valley, Town of Oyster Bay, New York

Problem Perchlorate detected in a shallow supply well within the southern portion of the Locust Valley Water District (LVWD) has prompted interest in determining the possible existence of a deeper confined aquifer (North Shore Aquifer) that may be protected from shallow contamination (fig. 1). Previous USGS studies in this area indicate the northern part of Nassau County has a complex...

Date published: October 2, 2015
Status: Active

Urban Waters Initiative – BRONX & HARLEM RIVERS

Problem Over the past century, the Harlem River watershed has become highly urbanized with 90 percent of the waterway constrained by infrastructure, which has limited access for recreational use. Bound by New York (Manhattan) and Bronx Counties, the Harlem River is a tidal strait between urbanized estuaries to the north (Hudson River) and south (East River). Direct inputs include the more...

Contacts: Shawn C Fisher
Date published: October 1, 2015
Status: Active

Hydrologic Climate Change Indicators

Background Streams and rivers are an important environmental resource and provide water for many human needs. Streamflow is a measure of the volume of water carried by rivers and streams. Changes in streamflow can directly influence the supply of water available for human consumption, irrigation, generating electricity, and other needs. In addition, many plants and animals depend on...

Date published: September 23, 2015
Status: Active

Effect of Flooding from Tropical Storm Irene on Fish Assemblages in the Upper Esopus Creek Basin

Background The Upper Esopus Creek, a popular trout-fishing and recreational stream in the heart of the Catskill Mountains, received historic flooding from Tropical Storm Irene on August 28, 2011. Streamflows approached or surpassed the 1% annual exceedance probability (>100 year) flood levels at several USGS streamgages in this basin. Short-term flood impacts on biological assemblages have...

Date published: September 22, 2015
Status: Active

A New Tool for Estimating Daily Mean Streamflow Statistics at Rural Streams in New York State, excluding Long Island

The lakes, rivers, and streams of New York State provide an essential water resource for the State. The information provided by time series hydrologic data is essential to understanding ways to promote healthy instream ecology and to strengthen the scientific basis for sound water management decision making in New York. The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with The Nature Conservancy and...

Date published: September 21, 2015
Status: Active

Human- and Ecological-Health Concerns Related to Transport and Persistence of Contaminants on Shinnecock Nation Tribal Lands

Problem Tribal Lands of the Shinnecock Nation Tribal community were inundated during Hurricane Sandy’s storm tide, resulting in detrimental effects on the Tribal Land’s natural resources. The existing science being used to inform decisions on remediation is biased toward activities are necessarily focused on the immediate aftermath of storms An assessment of the sources of...

Contacts: Irene J Fisher