Scientific research provides a key to better understanding and more effectively managing Long Island Sound. Recognizing the important role that research plays in decision-making, the EPA Long Island Sound Office, Connecticut Sea Grant (CTSG), and New York Sea Grant (NYSG) developed a cooperative program to fund research in support of the Long Island Sound Study. Initiated in 1999, the Long Island Sound Research Grant Program awards funds to researchers whose work helps meet the needs of decision-makers to improve the management of Long Island Sound.
Stony Brook University Graduate Student Jennifer George using a 202µm mesh filter to collect a mesozooplankton sample along the Port Jefferson-Bridgeport ferry route in April 2010. George is working on a research team led by Stony Brook University scientists Darcy Lonsdale and Christopher Gobler to examine the relationship between winter temperature and the abundance and composition of phytoplankton blooms in the spring. The reseach explores potential impacts of changing winter water temperatures on local food webs. See Impacts of Climate Change in Project Descriptions–2008.
Environmental Change in Long Island Sound
Wesleyan University graduate students using a modified ‘Van Veen grab sampler’ to collect samples from the sediment surface, as well as to videotape and take still photographs of the sea floor. Using sediment cores, Wesleyan University scientists Johan Varekamp, Ellen Thomas, and Kristina Beuning have documented the environmental transition in Long Island Sound from pre-colonial times to the present. See Environmental Change in Long Island Sound in Project Summaries–2000.
LISS also supports research and assessment projects through other funding opportunities. These projects are also described in the Project Descriptions section.
Saltmarsh-breeding Sparrows in Long Island Sound
Chris Elphick, a University of Connecticut biologist, is conducting research to develop a method to estimate the numbers of saltmarsh sharptailed sparrows (above) and seaside sparrows living in Long Island Sound salt marshes. By studying their population and favorite habitats, researchers can get a good indication which salt marshes on Long Island Sound are healthy enough to sustain wildlife, and which sites need to be restored and protected. See Saltmarsh-breeding Sparrows in Long Island Sound in Project Summaries–2002.