Photos of the Long Island Sound

Research & Monitoring

Status & Trends

LISS Ecosystem Targets and Supporting Indicators

Tidal Wetland Extent

Restore an additional 515 acres of tidal wetlands by 2035 from a 2014 baseline.

( Click labels in legend to hide data and adjust scale )
Progress
Tidal Wetland Acres Restored
YearAcresCumulative Acres
199834.934.9
1999108.0142.9
200081.2224.1
20016.7230.8
2002116.4347.2
200326.2373.4
200420.5393.9
200543.5437.4
200631.5468.9
20074.8473.7
200812.0485.7
20095.0490.7
2010203.5694.1
201126.0720.1
2012242.5962.5
20135.0967.5
201422.7990.2
2015381,028.2
201627.51,055.7
20170.11,055.8
Percent to Goal
YearAcres Cumulative AcresPercentage Towards 2035 Goal (515 more acres)
2014000%
201538387.4%
201627.565.512.7%
20170.165.612.7%

Status and Trends

Progress for reaching this target is behind schedule. In order to restore 515 acres by 2035, an average of 25 acres a year needs to be restored. Since 2015, 65.6 acres, or an average of 21.9 acres a year, have been restored.

Progress in 2015 and 2016 included the completion of two relatively large restoration projects: the 18.2 acre Great Meadows Tidal marsh restoration in Stratford in 2015, and the 17.7 acre Powerline Marsh Restoration in Milford, CT in 2016.

Prior to 2014, restoration projects included several large projects of 50 acres and more that involved increasing tidal flow (such as by removing tidal gates) to create the conditions to restore degraded tidal wetland habitats. In futures years, the LISS Habitat Restoration Coordinators anticipate there will be fewer of these larger areas available for restoration.  

Between 1998 and 2014, Long Island Sound Study partners have restored 985 acres of tidal wetland habitat in the study area.

About 75 percent of coastal habitat acres restored in Long Island Sound since 1998 are made up of tidal wetlands

Challenges

Restoration of many larger tidal wetland complexes have been completed. Future restorations will target more small, isolated wetlands. Sea level rise may impair the function of existing wetlands or change their area and location. 

How is This Target Measured?

The Long Island Sound Study Habitat Restoration Coordinators track coastal habitat restoration projects that are in progress within the watershed by various partners and report the total acres restored annually.

For the purposes of this metric, a wetland is considered “restored” after completion of the construction phase. Restoration involves a successful effort to restore tidal flow (e.g., culvert enlargement, fill removal).

Importance

Tidal wetlands are transitional zones between the land and submerged systems. These areas are dominated by rooted plants that are flooded by the tide. Healthy tidal wetlands help trap sediments, store flood water, and reduce wave energy during storms. Two-thirds of all marine species depend on tidal wetlands for a portion of their life cycle.

About 75 percent of coastal habitat acres restored in Long Island Sound are made up of tidal wetlands.

Additional Information

The Long Island Sound Study has a database to track and describe every restoration project in the Connecticut and New York portions of the Long Island Sound watershed since 1998.

Contact

Victoria O’Neill, New York Department of Environmental Conservation, victoria.oneill@dec.ny.gov

Harry Yamalis, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, harry.yamalis@ct.gov

Source of Data

CTDEEP, NYSDEC, and Long Island Sound Study Partners

Data Notes

  • The technical explanation on how the target was selected is found in Appendix B of the Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan.
  • The Tidal Wetland target is a component of the Coastal Habitat Extent target.
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