Photos of the Long Island Sound

Research & Monitoring

Status & Trends

LISS Ecosystem Targets and Supporting Indicators

Thriving Habitats and Abundant Wildlife

Thriving Habitats and Abundant Wildlife ecosystem targets track progress towards attaining the goal of restoring and protecting the Sound’s ecological balance in a healthy, productive, and resilient state to benefit both people and the natural environment.

Coastal Habitat Extent

Restore an additional 350 acres of coastal habitat by 2020 from a 2014 baseline View Ecosystem Target

Eelgrass Extent

Restore and maintain an additional 2,000 acres of eelgrass by 2035 from a 2012 baseline of 2,061. View Ecosystem Target

Tidal Wetland Extent

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

River Miles Restored for Fish Passage

Open 200 additional miles of fish riverine migratory corridors in the Connecticut and New York portions of the watershed by 2035 from a 2014 baseline of 307.76 miles. View Ecosystem Target

Shellfish Harvested

Increase the harvest of oysters, clams, and scallops in the Sound through a combination of habitat management and shellfish aquaculture. View Ecosystem Target

Habitat Connectivity

Increase connectivity of coastal habitat by 2035 by restoring and/or protecting habitat patches that increase biodiversity and support migratory pathways. View Ecosystem Target

Protected Open Space

Conserve an additional 4,000 acres of Connecticut land and 3,000 acres of New York land within the Long Island Sound coastal boundary by 2035, while maintaining or increasing the total area of protected land. View Ecosystem Target

Changes in Forest Cover in CT & NY

This indicator tracks an important habitat in protecting riparian buffers and coastal ecoystems. View Indicator

Index of Anadromous Fish Runs

These counts of river herring and shad in Long Island Sound tributaries indicate the quality of upstream habitat that has been opened up as a result of completed fishway projects. View Indicator

Herring Runs at Streams with Upstream Planned Fishway Projects

These counts of river herring and shad in Long Island Sound tributaries indicate the quality of upstream habitat that has been opened up as a result of completed fishway projects. View Indicator

Horseshoe Crab Abundance

This indicator shows the abundance of Horseshoe Crabs in Connecticut and New York. View Indicator

Lobster Abundance

Lobster has historically been an important fishery in Long Island Sound but populations have declined in recent years. This indicator is a fisheries-independent estimation of their abundance in the Sound. View Indicator

Forage Fish – Open Water/NY and CT Coastlines

The forage indices measures the productivity of small fish in the Sound, which is the basis of the food supply for larger fish, including game fish. View Indicator

Finfish Biomass Index/Species Richness

Fish biomass indicates the productivity of the Long Island Sound fishery. Species richness measures the diversity of species supported within the Sound's various habitats. View Indicator

Game Fish

The abundance of game fish is a reflection of the productivity of Long Island Sound and the effectiveness of coast-wide fishery management plans that seek to stabilize populations while maximizing harvest opportunities. View Indicator

Shad & Blueback Herring—Long Island Sound

Abundance of American shad and blueback herring, as reported in the Long Island Sound Trawl Survey. View Indicator

Least Terns

The least tern is the smallest of American terns. They are migratory birds that breed along marine and estuarine shores of the United States. Their abundance indicates the quality of coastal habitat and quantity of forage fish available for food. View Indicator

Piping Plovers

Piping plovers are small shorebirds that nest on the beaches of Long Island Sound. The abundance of breeding pairs reflects availability of beach nesting habitat and management efforts to protect nesting pairs from human intrusion, storm tides and predators. View Indicator

Subscribe to receive our e-newsletter, Sound Bytes by providing your email address. Interested in a free copy of our print newsletter, Sound Update? Then also provide your home/company/school address.