Photos of the Long Island Sound

Research & Monitoring

Status and Trends: LISS Environmental Indicators

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.


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Water Quality

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 Indicators

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 Marine and Coastal Animals Indicators

Climate Change

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

Land Use and Population

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 Land Use and Population 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.

View Habitats Indicators

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