LISS’s environmental indicators report tracks measures that indicate the status of the health of Long Island Sound and the efforts to restore and protect the Sound and its watershed.
Water quality indicators are divided into four categories, each of which has been identified by the program as a priority area of concern. The categories include hypoxia (low dissolved oxygen) and nutrients; toxic contaminants; pathogens; and floatable debris. These indicators help resource managers assess recent and historical water quality trends, and management efforts to improve conditions.
Marine and coastal animal indicators include species of finfish, marine invertebrates, and coastal birds. The abundance of selected species is used to assess the overall health of populations and their habitats in the Sound. Measuring the value of commercial fisheries helps to evaluate the economic importance of the Sound.
Habitat indicators include measurements of management efforts to restore and protect coastal habitats and fish passage, as well as the abundance of underwater vegetation (eelgrass) near the shore. Coastal habitats provide vital nursery and grazing grounds for a wide variety of marine and coastal animals.