The Climate Change and Sentinel Monitoring Program (formerly the Sentinel Monitoring for Climate Change in Long Island Sound Program) is a multidisciplinary scientific approach to provide early warning of climate change impacts to Long Island Sound ecosystems, species and processes to facilitate appropriate and timely management decisions and adaptation responses. These warnings will be based on assessments of climate-related changes to a set of indicators/sentinels recommended by our technical advisory work groups.
A flooded coastal road during high tide in Old Saybrook. Photo credit: Judy Preston.
The program was developed to quantify local changes in the environment brought about by climate change. These impacts include but are not limited to: loss or changes in ecosystem functions and processes; disruption in fisheries, aquaculture and other economic commodities; and changes in species population dynamics, including both the loss of and introduction of new species.
The goals of our program are:
Click here to download the Sentinel Monitoring Strategy (updated in 2018). The Strategy is currently under review and an updated strategy will be released in the coming year. The following data sources and special meetings support this update:
Bluff Point in CT as it appears during the Mean Higher High Water mark.
Bluff Point at Mean Higher High Water plus an additional one foot of sea-level rise.
Click on links below to access documents created by and for the Sentinel Monitoring Work Group:
The Bi-State Climate Change and Sentinel Monitoring Work Group is a partnership that includes the EPA Long Island Sound Office, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, New York Sea Grant, Connecticut Sea Grant, and NEIWPCC.
Funding for the development of the strategic plan was provided by the Long Island Sound Study. The Long Island Sound Study was also awarded a Direct Technical Assistance grant from the EPA Climate Ready Estuaries program.
In 2016, Coastal Ocean Analytics provided the Climate Change and Sentinel Monitoring program with an analysis comparing local trends in climate change with global trends. The report is available as a download in the media center or on the Coastal Ocean Analytics website.
Adjustment in natural or human systems to a new or changing environment. Adaptation to climate change refers to adjustment in natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli or their effects, which moderates harm or exploits beneficial opportunities (IPCC Third Assessment Report Working Group III: Mitigation).
Climate change mitigation refers to reducing the flow of heat-trapping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, either by reducing sources of these gases (for example, the burning of fossil fuels for electricity, heat or transport) or enhancing the “sinks” that accumulate and store these gases (such as the oceans, forests and soil) (climate.nasa.gov).
A capability to anticipate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from significant multi-hazard threats with minimum damage to social well-being, the economy, and the environment.
A measurable variable that is susceptible to some key aspect of climate change and which is being monitored for the appearance of climate change.
see full glossary
A saltmarsh sparrow in a Long Island Sound marsh. Photo by Patrick Comins.
The Long Island Sound Study has funded several research projects on the effects of sea-level rise and warming temperatures on fish and coastal bird populations, habitats, and water quality. Learn more at LISS Climate Change and Sentinel Monitoring research and Other LISS Climate Change research.