Taking to the Skies to Help the Seas
Aerial Surveys of Boating Activities Help Assess Threats to Seagrass as
part of Comprehensive Approach to Its Protection in Long Island Sound
Located at the eastern edge of Long Island Sound is Fishers Island, a place
renowned for its natural beauty, limited development and quiet way of life.
The 9-mile island is surrounded by waters that are distinctive too - they support
some of the last remaining seagrass meadows in the Sound.
These underwater meadows provide valuable benefits for nature and people.
Seagrasses are home to thousands of ocean animals like lobster, flounder and bay
scallops. They generate oxygen, improve water quality, reduce shoreline erosion by
stabilizing sediments, and can store twice as much carbon as forests on land.
What's Happening to Long Island Sound's Seagrass?
Today, only 10 percent of the historic acreage of seagrass remains in Long Island
Sound. At Fishers Island, these meadows are still in good condition, but without
action to protect them now, they are at risk of degradation and loss from threats
ranging from nitrogen pollution, boating activity, disease, algal blooms, and warming
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Credit: Chantal E. Collier
Director, Long Island Sound Program and The Nature Conservancy
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