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Long Island Tidal Wetlands Trends Analysis

There are approximately 27,000 acres of vegetated high marsh and intertidal marsh in New York’s Marine District, as follows:

  • 49% in Suffolk County
  • 33% in Nassau County
  • 2% in Westchester, Bronx, and Queens Counties

wetland workshop

Economic and Recreational Value: It’s estimated that 60% of the recreational opportunities and 66% of the commercial fisheries and shellfisheries in New York’s Marine District depend on the resources and ecosystem services provided by tidal wetlands.

Biologic and Ecologic Value: These wetlands protect coastal water quality by acting as a sink for pollutants, provide valuable wildlife habitat, and protect upland and shoreline areas from flooding and erosion.

Alarming changes, including degradation, fragmentation and severe acreage losses have been observed in several Long Island, NY tidal wetland complexes. The primary goal of the Long Island Tidal Wetlands Trends Analysis and Wetland Loss Characterization Matrix project is to assess the quantitative and qualitative changes, including:

  • the extent of marsh acreage lost or gained through spatial databases
  • changes or shifts in tidal wetland vegetation since the last New York State regulatory inventory of 1974.

The study area for this project included coastal areas of New York State within the Long Island Sound, Peconic, and South Shore estuaries including all or parts of Westchester, Bronx, Queens, Nassau, and Suffolk Counties.

For more information, please contact Richard Friesner, Ph.D., division director for water quality programs.