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Barrier Island Breach Impacts on Long Island Estuaries
Publications: Success Stories (Research)

A sampling of results and impacts from completed New York Sea Grant-funded research projects, written during the period February 1, 2009 – January 31, 2010

<< back to NYSG Success Stories: Research (2010) introduction page

Physical, Sedimentary, and Hydrologic Impacts of Barrier Island Breach Events on Long Island Estuaries
R/CCP-10, Warren / Turner

NYSG researchers characterized the hydrography, bathymetry and sediments of several areas of the Long Island Southern Shore Estuary system ranging from Fire Island inlet to Shinnecock Bay to establish a baseline for their relation to pelagic and benthic communities.

During work on the project, the research team made a serendipitous discovery that they could distinguish sea grass beds using one of the acoustic technology tools (the Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler) used during this project. They conducted further measurements and found that acoustics could be used to determine the presence and extent of sea grass beds.

This information was used by the mapping workgroup of the New York Seagrass Task Force in formulating their part of the Task Force’s recommendations to the state on seagrass management. Acoustic methods have several advantages over other remote sensing technologies like aerial photography such as less cost, easy deployment, and working in conditions where aerial photography cannot.

The study overall provided high spatial resolution of surface temperature, salinity and acoustic data describing bottom depth, current velocity profiles, and backscattering intensity useful to modelers who want to use baseline or ground truth data for circulation studies of the system.

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