Sound Health 2008 Environmental Indicators

What are Environmental Indicators? What is DPSIR?

Environmental indicators provide quantitative information on ecological resources, including the state of specific environmental conditions, good or bad. There are several methods to categorize and analyze types of indicators. For Sound Health, each indicator will be classified as a Driver, Pressure, State, Impact, or Response under the “DPSIR” framework.

Definitions of DPSIR Indicator Types

(Source: European Water Framework Directive)

(D) Driver: An anthropogenic activity that may have an environmental effect (e.g. agriculture, industry); also driving force.

(P) Pressure: The direct effect of the driver (e.g. an effect that causes a change in flow or a change in the water chemistry of surface and groundwater bodies.

(S) State: The condition of the water body resulting from both natural and anthropogenic factors (i.e. physical, chemical, and biological characteristics).

(I) Impact: The environmental effect of a human or ecological pressure (e.g. fish killed, ecosystem modified).

(R) Response: The human response (e.g. habitat restoration, pollution reduction) to a pressure or state.


An introduction to the Long Island Sound Study and the Study’s Environmental Indicators. (Section 1) 10 slides

Water Quality

Water Quality measures

Indicators include water quality index based on five measures, and specific indicators for water clarity, chlorophyll-a concentrations, dissolved oxygen, and reducing nitrogen loads. (Section 2.1) 19 slides

Toxic Contaminants

Indicators include the EPA Toxics Release Inventory (Section 2.2) 12 slides


Indicators include number of beach closure days and number of vessel pumpout stations (Section 2.3) 4 slides

Floatable Debris

Indicator includes pounds of debris cleaned in beach cleanup days (Section 2.4) 4 slides

Living Marine Resources


Indicators include acreage of shellfish beds, and harvests of important commercial mollusks and crustaceans (oyster and lobster) (Section 3.1) 5 slides


Indicators include abundance of popular sport fish (such as striped bass and bluefish), fish biomass, and abundance of fish that spawn in rivers in the Sound’s watershed.
(Section 3.2) 22 slides


Number of seals observed in winter months at two monitoring locations. (Section 3.3) 2 slides

Coastal Bird Populations

Indicators consist of two birds that inhabit Long Island Sound beaches (piping plover and least tern) and wading birds that forage in tidal marshes.(Section 3.4) 4 slides

Habitat Protection

River Miles Restored

Miles of streams restored for anadromous (salt water to fresh water and back) fish passage.
(Section 4.1)1 slide

Coastal Habitat Restoration

Indicators include number of coastal habitats (such as tidal wetlands) restored.
(Section 4.2) 10 slides

Submerged Aquatic Vegetation

Of existing eelgrass beds in embayments and nearshore areas of Long Island Sound.
Section (4.3) 4 slides

Land Use

Land Coverage & Population

Indicators include historic trends of the extent of forested land in the watershed, and trends in land covers and impervious surface and population levels. (Section 5.1) 10 slides

Open Space

NY and CT trends in preserving open space in the Sound’s watershed. (Section 5.2) 1 slide

Public Involvement

Coastal Cleanup

Shows the year to year level of volunteer contributions to clean up the Sound’s beaches. (Section 6.1) 1 slide

website visitors

Shows the public’s use of the LISS website to obtain information about LISS and the Sound. (Section 6.2) 1 slide

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