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Long Island South Shore Estuary Reserve Coordinated Water Resources Monitoring Strategy

July 10, 2018

Executive Summary

The Long Island South Shore Estuary Reserve Coordinated Water Resources Monitoring Strategy (CWRMS) provides an overview of the water-quality and ecological monitoring within the Reserve and presents suggestions from stakeholders for future data collection, data management, and coordination among monitoring programs. The South Shore Estuary Reserve, hereafter referred to as the Reserve, is a 173-square-mile network of bays and tributaries shaped by the south shore of Long Island (New York) and the barrier islands that was formed as a result of the last ice age (roughly 18,000 years ago). This overview and coordination document is based on information assembled from a series of meetings, a workshop, and individual correspondences with the CWRMS Project Advisory Committee, which was formed in 2015 to help guide the creation of the document, which reflects the current (2017) status of the Reserve and the need for additional data to address its water-quality issues and ecological health and to respond to a changing climate. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the New York State Department of State Office of Planning, Development and Community Infrastructure and the South Shore Estuary Reserve Office, compiled information and recommendations to help stakeholders efficiently evaluate waters currently being monitored and address areas where necessary data are lacking. Water-quality monitoring in the Reserve is ongoing on the Federal, State, and local levels, and coordination among the various programs administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; USGS; Shinnecock Tribal Nation; New York State; Nassau and Suffolk Counties; the Towns of Hempstead, Oyster Bay, Babylon, Islip, Brookhaven, and Southampton; and local universities and nonprofit organizations is necessary to ensure cooperation and efficient use of limited resources. Proper collection and archival of data are critical to the usability of data and methods—a sample of available repositories for monitoring data are provided in this report. Equally important are quality assurances of data and proper techniques of archival such that water and ecological data are collected and analyzed in a consistent manner, regardless of their sources, and that differences in methodologies are identified that might result in discrepancies in the compiled data. Details on monitoring programs, data gaps that are perceived by stakeholders and researchers in the area, and Project Advisory Committee recommendations are provided in this report to promote discussion and coordination. In most cases, resources to fill data gaps are needed, and the use of citizen science volunteers has been shown to help extend programs and provide insight into previously unaddressed areas of concern. This document, in conjunction with the CWRMS website and interactive mapper, is intended to inform the latest iteration of the Comprehensive Management Plan for the Reserve. Moreover, resource managers can use the CWRMS and mapper to identify areas of potential overlap and initiate conversations with stakeholders about addressing needs for additional monitoring of water quality and ecological health in the bays and tributaries of the Reserve.

Publication Year 2018
Title Long Island South Shore Estuary Reserve Coordinated Water Resources Monitoring Strategy
DOI 10.3133/ofr20171161
Authors Shawn C. Fisher, Robert J. Welk, Jason S. Finkelstein
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Open-File Report
Series Number 2017-1161
Index ID ofr20171161
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization New York Water Science Center