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Status & Trends

LISS Ecosystem Targets and Supporting Indicators

Filter By: All|Ecosystem Targets

The following Ecosystem Indicators use data to measure the health of Long Island Sound. The Ecosystem Targets are indicators that include performance targets to help inform and drive progress toward meeting management goals.


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.

View Water Quality Targets and Indicators »


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. 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.

View Habitats and Wildlife Targets and Indicators »


Land Use and population can strongly impact water quality in the Sound and its tributaries. These indicators include information about watershed population, development, and open space.

View Communities Targets and Indicators »

Climate Change Indicators

Climate change indicators appear in different topic areas, and include physical, biological, chemical, and socioeconomic measures. The breadth of measures is because conditions affected by climate change such as sea level rise, temperature change, and increased ocean acidification can impact animals and plants and their habitats as well as humans throughout the region. These indicators help resource managers assess climate change’s current impacts on the the Sound, and project future trends.

View Climate Change Indicators »

The 2015 Management Plan

To fulfill the vision of a restored and protected Long Island Sound the partner agencies of the Long Island Sound Study in 2015 revised its Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan. Learn more about the Plan in the CCMP Issues and Actions section »

Year in Review 2016

The spring 2017 issue of Sound Update focuses on Long Island Sound Study’s Year in Review of 2016. Various clean water, habitat restoration, education, and science projects from Connecticut and New York are highlighted. See media center»

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