Sixth Annual Long Island Natural History Conference







New York Seagrass Conservation Activities.
Soren Dahl, NYSDEC Seagrass Management

Seagrass is declining across the globe and the same is true for eelgrass meadows around Long Island. In response to this trend, an initiative started with work by the New York State Seagrass Task Force and led to the Seagrass Protection Act.  A primary directive is to develop collaborative localized management planning for seagrass areas, an unprecedented approach to marine resource management in our coastal waters. Efforts have begun to explore this approach for eelgrass around Shelter Island and Fishers Island. Good information helps create good conservation planning and to aide this process an online seagrass survey tool was developed for citizens to contribute reports of seagrass observations into an interactive map. Another initiative that has significant implications for eelgrass health is concurrent planning efforts across the State, County, and Estuary Programs to reduce nitrogen pollution. Recently improved water quality in eastern Great South Bay, near the Fire Island Wilderness breach, inspired a collaborative project to foster eelgrass recovery supported by seed collections with volunteers.