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A View from the Bridge

bridgephoto

Students from Hauppauge High School’s Advanced Placement Environmental Science class stand near one of their sampling sites, on the footbridge that stretches over Sunken Meadow Creek at Sunken Meadow State Park on Long Island. These students have been collecting water quality and fish and macroinvertebrate data along this creek since 2008. Hurricane Sandy destroyed a man-made berm downstream of the site that had been restricting tidal flow to the creek since the 1950s and was scheduled for removal in the next year or so. The breach in this berm restored tidal flushing to the creek. The students saw a shift in their data after the Hurricane Sandy washed the berm away. At their footbridge sampling site, they would normally find mostly freshwater fish, such as sunfish and stickleback, but now that tidal flow is restored, they are finding more saltwater fish, such as silversides. Their project is part of the Sound Stewards Program in which partners such as NY State Parks, NYSDEC, and NY Sea Grant develop research projects for students to monitor and collect data for managers of Long Island Sound Stewardship Areas.

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