While this edition of UPDATE focuses on monitoring, I can’t help but first note the milestone that was reached on February 5 when the LISS Policy Committee adopted the Phase III Actions for Hypoxia Management and the Habitat Restoration Strategy. These plans set ambitious, specific restoration goals for Long Island Sound — reducing nitrogen discharges to Long Island Sound by 58.5 percent over 15 years and restoring at least 2000 coastal acres and 100 river miles of habitat within 10 years. John Atkin, President of Save the Sound, Inc. and Cochair of the Citizen Advisory Committee, offers his perspective on page 2. The direct connection to monitoring, of course, is that in order to assess progress toward these goals, adequate monitoring systems must be in place.
Monitoring in the broadest sense includes assessing implementation of management actions and progress toward meeting environmental goals. A successful monitoring program should provide answers to environmental professionals and to the general public. Have we done what we said we were going to do? Has it had the intended consequences? Is more needed? This knowledge can be used to refocus or redirect efforts and to enable the public to be effective advocates for Long Island Sound.
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