NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson to Begin New Seafloor Mapping Project of Long Island Sound (news release posted July 9, 2012)
Seafloor Mapping of Long Island Sound: Scope of Work – Phase 1 Pilot Project (posted May 8, 2012)
Fact Sheet on Seafloor Mapping
Scup at Mason Island. Photo by Robert DeGoursey, UConn.
Underneath the surface of Long Island Sound exists a wide range of seafloor habitats—from the shallow, sandy bottom in the Narrows near New York City, to the deep and rocky recession in the Race near Fishers Island. Mapping the seafloor provides a framework to better understand and manage the resources dependant on these diverse habitats.
In an effort to better understand, describe, and analyze these seafloor (or “benthic”) environments federal and state agencies, regional organizations, and academic institutions use high resolution underwater imaging techniques to characterize and map specific geographic locations.
A 2004 settlement between the states of Connecting and New York, two power companies, and a cable company is providing funding for additional seafloor mapping. The settlement resolved a permitting dispute relating to two electrical cable crossings of Long Island Sound. As part of the settlement, the companies agreed to contribute $6 million to a Long Island Sound Research and Restoration Fund as a condition for its permit. In 2004, the Long Island Sound Study Policy Committee signed a Memorandum of Understanding on administering the fund for research and restoration projects to enhance the waters and related natural resources of Long Island Sound. In 2006, the Long Island Sound Study Policy Committee signed a second Memorandum of Understanding formally establishing a framework for the fund’s use. The Policy Committee agreed that the Fund be used to:
Scenes from the Research Vessel John Dempsey: Checking a trawl location on the survey grid. Photo by Richard Howard
- Support new projects and activities that enhance Long Island Sound.
- Promote improved scientific understanding of the biological, chemical, and physical effects of existing or potential cable and pipeline crossings and mitigation of their impacts.
- Emphasize benthic mapping as a priority need, essential to an improved scientific basis for management and mitigation decisions.
The Policy Committee also established a Cable Fund Steering Committee, comprised of representatives of the EPA Region 1 Region 2 offices, the NYSDEC, CTDEP, and Connecticut and New York Sea Grant Programs, to administer the fund.
Below is a list of reference materials to learn more about the Long Island Sound Seafloor Mapping Program and about seafloor mapping in general.
Seafloor Workshop Summaries
Long Island Sound Mapping References
- Seafloor Mapping of Long Island Sound: Scope of Work – Phase 1 Pilot Project
- Comprehensive Assessment and Report, Part I, Energy Resources and Infrastructure of Southwest Connecticut, Working Group on Southwest Connecticut and the Taskforce on Long Island Sound, Pursuant to State of Connecticut Public Act No. 02-95 and Executive Order No. 26, January 1, 2003. http://www.easternct.edu/sustainenergy/publication/reports.htm
- Comprehensive Assessment and Report, Part II, Environmental Resource and Energy Infrastructure of Long Island Sound, Taskforce on Long Island Sound, Pursuant to State of Connecticut Public Act No. 02-95 and Executive Order No. 26, June 3, 2003. http://www.easternct.edu/sustainenergy/publication/reports.htm
- Long Island Sound Symposium: A Study of Benthic Habitats, the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering for the Connecticut Energy Advisory Board, November 2004. http://www.ctcase.org/reports/LIS.pdf
- Hydrographic Lidar Survey – Experiences From Long Island Sound, Mark Sinclair, Tenix LADS Inc, February 2005. http://www.thsoa.org/hy05/07_4.pdf
- Summary of the Long Island Sound Seafloor Mapping Workshop, November 30, 2007. http://www.ct.gov/dep/lib/dep/long_island_sound/coastal_management/2007_lis_seafloorworkshopreport_v5_final_(2).pdf
- A Habitat Classification Scheme for the Long Island Sound Region, National Undersea Research Center & Department of Marine Sciences, Prepared for the Long Island Sound Study, EPA Long Island Sound Office, June 2009. June 2009 Habitat Classification Scheme Report
- Environmental Impact Statement for the Designation of Dredged Material Disposal Sites in Central and Western Long Island Sound, Connecticut and New York. US Environmental Protection Agency, N.E. Region, April 2004. http://www.epa.gov/region01/eco/lisdreg/eisdocs.html
- Final Environmental Impact Statement Broadwater LNG Energy Project, Docket Numbers PF-05-4, CP06-54-000 and CP06-55-000 http://www.ferc.gov/industries/lng/enviro/eis/2008/01-11-08-eis.asp
- Conservation Focus Map Project: Coastline, Tidal Marsh, Submerged Aquatic Vegetation, and Benthic Environments, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Prepared for the NY State Wildlife Grants Program, Scheduled completion date: Winter 2011. Overview: http://conserveonline.org/workspaces/nysfocusmaps/
- Cerrato and Holt. 2008. North Shore Bays Benthic Mapping: Ground Truth Studies. Final Report to NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. MSRC Special Report #135.
Other Suggested Seafloor Mapping References
National Efforts and Initiatives