MAMARONECK, N.Y., Oct. 6, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The second ecosystem health Report Card for Long Island Sound (Report Card), released today by New Haven-based Save the Sound, shows the Sound stressed by high nitrogen levels. There is a gradient of water quality from very good in Eastern Long Island Sound (an "A-") to very poor in the Western Narrows (an "F") in the New York metropolitan area.
As water quality is an indispensable component of a stable and healthy environment for humans, fish, and wildlife, the 23 million people living within 50 miles of the Sound contributing to over-development, stormwater run-off and septic issues have degraded the Sound's water quality and led to a need for action. This need is illustrated in the Report Card's results.
The aim of the Report Card is to provide a transparent, timely, and geographically detailed assessment of the Sound health, defined as the progress of water quality indicators (dissolved oxygen, water clarity, chlorophyll a, and a nutrient score combining total nitrogen and total phosphorus) . The Sound is divided into five subregions, each of which are graded for these indicators and then given an overall grade.
There is a west-to-east gradient of progressively healthier water quality, corresponding to the progression from heavily developed and populated areas and low tidal flushing on the western end, to the open connection with the Atlantic on the eastern end. In all regions, worst score given was for "nutrients," nitrogen and phosphorus. .
"The detailed 2015 scientific data supports the strong commitment and formal plans made by the Environmental Protection Agency, CT DEEP, and NY DEC to improve the Sound's ecological health by reducing nutrient pollution," said Curt Johnson, executive director of the Save the Sound program. "But it's also up to our citizens to take action. Modernizing septic, reducing fertilizer use, and planting native plants and shrub buffers along the edge of our streams and wetlands all help reduce the pollution entering the streams that feed the Sound. These are all critical investments in our children's futures."
For more information about the Long Island Sound Health Report Card including region-specific data and downloadable graphics, visit longislandsound.ecoreportcard.org.
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SOURCE Save the Sound