This project's approach to identify significant habitats of the waters of the New York Bight proper differed in an important way from that taken to identify and delineate discrete habitat complexes in the land watershed section of the study area. While there are clearly areas in the open Bight that contain certain key species, whether fish, shellfish, or marine mammals, in concentrations that are disproportionally greater in size, density, or some other ecologically important characteristic than elsewhere in the Bight, the cumulative delineation of all such important use areas in this ocean region by the many species of special emphasis would result in so many overlapping and contiguous individual areas that the entire Bight would be recognized as a single, regionally significant habitat. While this is true, the approach would be of little practical conservation utility to intergovernmental and private conservation groups. It was decided, instead, to look at the Bight proper using a zonal approach, characterizing several distinct marine zones of water and sediments that parallel the coastal shoreline of the study area and extend out in bands or zones, beginning with those areas closest to the shore and extending seaward out to the edge of the continental shelf. Descriptions and species characterizations of these zones and their map delineations follow (Figure 18).

Nearshore Zone

The nearshore zone of the New York Bight is the area of marine waters between Cape May, New Jersey, and Montauk Point, New York, from the mean low water (mlw) line offshore to the 20-meter (66-foot) depth contour, excluding the Harbor core area. This zone varies in width from 3 to 13 kilometers (2 to 8 miles) and is strongly influenced by continental meteorological events. The February water temperatures can be less than 3C (37F), while the August temperatures often exceed 25C (77F). Average salinities in this zone are 32 parts per thousand but, again, vary with meteorological events on the continent, especially during periods of high fresh water runoff. The periodic tidal currents that accompany the semidiurnal (twice daily) rising and falling tides influence the horizontal water movements and transport.

The New Jersey nearshore zone, extending from Sandy Hook to Cape May, is characterized by a high-energy sandy beach to the north and an extensive estuary system protected by barrier islands to the south. The New Jersey coast is formed by erosion of the Atlantic Highlands, which provide sediment to the littoral transport stream and to the inner shelf during times of storm wave activity and erosion of the shore face. The sediment grain size is primarily dominated by sand-sized sediment, with scattered patches of exposed gravel. The nearshore zone has an interesting topography of southwest scour troughs and ubiquitous sand ridges that are formed by storm currents from that direction; these ridges generally have a mean height of 10 meters (32.8 feet) and range from 1 to 50 kilometers (32.8 to 164 feet) in length.

At 190 kilometers (118 miles), Long Island is the longest island in the United States. The headland portion of the Long Island nearshore zone at Montauk Point is composed of eroded glacial features formed over twenty thousand years ago. A terminal glacial moraine divides the island, with a ground moraine to the north and an extensive outwash plain to the south. The nearshore bottom is a gently sloping terrace composed of a remarkably uniform sand sediment surface.

The nearshore zones of Long Island and New Jersey share a number of characteristics in common and are part of a larger ecosystem called the Mid-Atlantic Bight. Because this ecosystem is located between the boreal waters of southern New England and the semi-tropical region to the south, it is especially significant to marine species diversity. More than 60 species of marine and anadromous fish, sometimes known as shorefishes, use this ecologically productive ecosystem as a feeding area, and are made up of boreal, temperate, and semi-tropical seasonally migratory species. In the spring and summer there is a general movement inshore and somewhat toward the north, while in the fall and winter the movement is offshore and southerly, with some species undertaking long coastal migrations to semi-tropical waters. Some examples of commercially and recreationally important species in the nearshore zone are Atlantic menhaden (Brevoortia tyrannus), weakfish (Cynoscion regalis), striped bass (Morone saxatilis), winter flounder (Pleuronectes americanus), summer flounder (Paralichthys dentatus), bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix), tautog (Tautoga onitis), Atlantic mackerel (Scomber scombrus), black sea bass (Centropristis striata), Atlantic croaker (Micropogonias undulatus), northern kingfish (Menticirrhus saxatilis), spot (Leiostomas xanthurus), American sandlance (Ammodytes americanus), and silversides (Menidia menidia). The nearshore waters of the Bight are a natural focus or funneling area for a number of anadromous species that eventually enter the Hudson River or other coastal rivers and streams to spawn. These anadromous species include Atlantic tomcod (Microgadus tomcod), Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrhynchrus), alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus), blueback herring (Alosa aestivalis), American shad (Alosa sapidissima), and striped bass.

Large commercially harvestable quantities of surf clam (Spisula solidissima) inhabit the nearshore benthos, with greatest concentrations inside the 20-meter (66-foot) contour. There is prime marine fishing available for both recreational and commercial interests in the nearshore area, with most of the commercial landings occurring in the nearshore and shelf waters. Atlantic menhaden, which is caught coastally from spring through fall, depends on high-quality estuaries for juvenile growth. There are several important species that move inshore during the summer period, and these include Atlantic mackerel, butterfish (Peprilus triacanthus), scup (Stenotomus chrysops), black sea bass, summer flounder, and two species of squid, northern shortfin (Illex illecebrosus) and longfin (Loligo pealeii). In addition to their value as protein for human consumption, concentrations of the schooling pelagic fish such as mackerel and butterfish and the squids are important to and utilized by an array of predatory fishes, including the tunas, and a variety of coastal shark species, marine mammals, and piscivorous birds (see chapters on fish and seabirds for additional details).

A diverse array of marine mammals and sea turtles, many of which are endangered or threatened, use the nearshore zone. Studies have demonstrated that this area is critical developmental habitat for the endangered Atlantic (Kemp's) ridley turtle (Lepidochelys kempii), as well as a major feeding area for leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), green (Chelonia mydas), and loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta). Although most turtles observed are on their north-south migrations, loggerheads have been observed to nest in the Cape May area. The Long Island area is the winter habitat for harbor seal (Phoca vitulina) and gray seal (Halichoerus grypus); occasionally, other arctic seals such as harp (Phoca groenlandica), hooded (Cystophora cristata), and ringed (Phoca hispida) seals also occur. While a large number of marine mammal species use this area as a migration corridor, there is notably frequent utilization by finback (Balaenoptera physalus), minke (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), and humpback (Megaptera novaeangliae) whales. Sperm whales (Physeter catadon) are regularly sighted in the spring, and the critically endangered right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) has been observed feeding while migrating through the zone. Several dolphin species, including common (Delphinus delphis), bottlenosed (Tursiops truncatus), white-sided (Lagenorhynchus acutus), and striped (Stenella coerulealba), as well as pilot whales (Globicephala melaena), are often encountered (see chapter on federally listed species for additional details).

Closely associated with both the estuary and nearshore zone of southern Long Island and the Jersey Shore is the New York Bight Apex. The Apex is that segment of the coast where the New York and New Jersey coasts are at right angles to each other and the coastal ocean waters are contiguous with those of the New York - New Jersey Harbor Estuary. This area is unique among marine communities in that it is situated next to one of the most densely populated and heavily industrialized watersheds in the world. Baseline data have been collected by the National Marine Fisheries Service to determine the effects of 50 years of water quality deterioration due to the problems and pressures associated with the ever-increasing uses of this area for transportation, commercial and sport fishing, boating, recreation, and as a receptacle of the wastes of the over 20 million people who live in close proximity to it. The major causes of this serious water quality decline include the dumping of sewage sludge, dredged material, coal ash, construction and demolition debris, industrial wastes including acids, and the various wastes carried into the system by nonpoint source pollutants associated with human impacts on the terrestrial, riverine, and estuarine environments. Despite the degraded water quality, there are a number of fish and mega-invertebrates that occupy this area. Dominant species are spotted hake (Urophycis regina), windowpane flounder (Scophthalmus aquosus), longfin squid, little skate (Raja erinacea), and fourspot flounder (Paralichthys oblongus). Other species that frequently occur throughout the Apex are lady crab (Ovalipes ocellatus), butterfish, winter flounder, rock crab (Cancer irroratus), American lobster (Homarus americanus), smooth dogfish (Mustelus canis), and northern searobin (Prionotus carolinus). The funneling of many of the region's anadromous fishes occurs as annual migrations of the major species concentrate and move into the Hudson watershed. In the late summer and fall the reverse is true, and many spring-spawned fish emigrate through this area. Most of the fish that use the Hudson, whether spawning, nonspawning, or spawned fish, tend to head upstream during the warmwater, high productivity months, and head seaward as temperatures and nutrients decline.

Continental Shelf Zone

The continental shelves of the world's oceans represent only about 10% of the total area, but 99% of the global fish harvest. They are generally shallow ocean areas that promote nutrient recycling and provide feeding opportunities that concentrate fish. The New York Bight is a transition zone. There are few endemic fish species in the Bight; the majority of fish species are seasonal migrants, taking advantage of the opportunity to use the area for reproduction or growth. The vastness of the relatively shallow continental shelf area and the number of adjacent high-quality estuary systems that nurture and protect estuarine-dependent fish are major contributing factors to this area's biological diversity. The loss of estuarine and nearshore habitat is the most significant long-term threat to the health of our marine ecosystem.

The New York Bight is part of the larger Mid-Atlantic Bight region, an area with a large, gently sloping continental shelf north of Cape Hatteras extending to include the waters off Long Island and southern New England. The biota of the Mid-Atlantic Bight region are considered to belong to the Virginian faunal province and differ considerably from the biota of the adjoining Carolinian province to the south and the Acadian province to the north. At the apex of the Bight is the Hudson River, whose seaward extension is the Hudson Canyon and Hudson Shelf Valley, a depressed canyon running from the Harbor entrance southeast to the edge of the continental shelf. This canyon forms an intersection as it cuts across the shelf, changing the basic orientation of the shelf toward the southwest. The broad shelf of the southern New England area becomes narrower at its intersection with the Hudson Canyon. Sea floor composition throughout the Bight is primarily sand and some gravel, with the thickness of the surface layer from 15.2 to 30.5 meters (50 to 100 feet) overlaying other unconsolidated strata. Sediment transport from the Hudson River is negligible; the upstream velocities (tidal flow) retain most of the fine-grained sands and silts in the lower Hudson and Raritan Bay complex.

The water masses associated with the shelf are influenced by local atmospheric conditions, surface heating and cooling, coastal runoff, and mixing with the highly saline waters of the continental slope, the seaward edge of the shelf. The shelf water mass can vary from 3 to 11C (37 to 58 F) and salinities from 32.6 to 35 parts per thousand in winter. In summer, water temperatures can be found up to 26C (78F). The nearshore shelf zone is subject to the seasonal phenomenon of a large pool of cold bottom water being trapped as remaining cold winter surface waters are warmed, forcing a strong stratification (thermocline) at the 9.1 to 15.5-meter (30 to 50-foot) level. In summer, surface water layers above the thermocline are 21 to 24C (70 to 75F), while the bottom waters remain a nearly constant 7 to 10C (45 to 50F). Slope water overlying the continental slope is relatively warm and salty water, and is greatly influenced by the Gulf Stream. The meeting of the shelf and slope waters forms a sharp gradient in both temperature and salinity; this area is termed the shelf/slope front. The average circulation off the northeastern United States in the Mid-Atlantic Bight is a slow westward and southward flow across the continental shelf.

The Bight's shelf region is highly productive, with reportedly two to four times greater primary productivity than comparable continental shelf systems. The high productivity level is attributable to the hydrography of the area and the nutrient enhancements from the rich estuarine systems. Some of this enrichment is due to anthropogenic effects caused by the high degree of development in the coastal area. Benthic biomass trends differ with the nearshore zone. Ocean quahog (Arctica islandica) is the dominant species in the deeper silty-sand area, and other dominant taxa include echinoderms, annelids, and arthropods. The fisheries are much the same as described in the nearshore area; a substantial number of species occupy the shelf seasonally. The Bight's offshore shelf waters are also feeding and migration routes for large marine mammals (whales) and, to some extent, sea turtles, particularly near the shelf/slope front.

Aquatic systems may be best described as a pyramid of populations that convert inorganic chemicals and the sun's energy into living matter through levels of plants, herbivores, and carnivores. At each higher trophic (feeding) level, from the smallest photosynthetic bacterium to the largest carnivorous fish, the total biomass is successively less, while unutilized biomass is reconverted to inorganic components by microbial action and is recycled. The primary producers in the aquatic environment are phytoplankton (microscopic floating plants), some photosynthetic bacteria, macroalgae, and rooted aquatic plants; these convert inorganic nutrients into organic compounds and oxygen. The aquatic primary consumers include zooplankton (free-floating invertebrate animals) that graze on the phytoplankton and benthic (bottom-dwelling invertebrate animals) organisms that filter phytoplankton from the water. These animals in turn provide food for a wide spectrum of larger animals and thus serve as secondary producers.

Primary production in the temperate waters of the New York Bight is regulated by vertical mixing in the water column. The Bight experiences temperature extremes not known to other coastal ocean areas, which is the reason for sharp seasonal distinctions in primary production. The water column is uniformly mixed during the winter period and strongly stratified during the summer. Vertical mixing during the fall is the means by which nutrients are restored to the surface zone from relatively nutrient-rich, deeper water layers.

Phytoplankton are microscopic plant plankton. Diatoms, the most prominent phytoplankton, are unicellular organisms with silicate skeletons and a great variety of body forms, including spirals and chains. Diatoms drift and are most abundant in cold waters. When conditions are proper, diatoms have great capacity for reproduction. Also widespread are dinoflagellates, one-celled plants that have cellulose cell walls and whiplike "tails" that enable them to swim. Dinoflagellates are common in warmer water and have the ability to live in deep or turbid waters, since they utilize dissolved and dead organic matter. Massive concentrations, at hundreds of cells per milliliter, of certain species of dinoflagellates are dubbed red or brown tides and can cause mass mortalities of other organisms in the food chain. Some blue-green algae that remain in the near surface waters in order to photosynthesize are also phytoplankton.

The spring phytoplankton bloom is a strong pulse of growth resulting from an increase in solar radiation, increased water temperature, lower wind velocity, available nutrients, and a general reduction of thermal stratification that is more evident in the slope waters than in the shelf waters. A fall bloom occurs during the transition from stratified to mixed water column, driven by recovery from the summer nutrient impoverishment. During the spring and fall blooms, phytoplankton cell densities increase from 10,000 to 1,000,000 per liter for the outer Bight, from 100,000 to 100,000,000 per liter in the Apex, and from 10,000,000 to 10,000,000,000 per liter for the Raritan and lower Hudson River estuary. Diatom species composition for the entire region is similar (Table 17), and important phytoplankton species include Skeletonema costatum, Thalassionema nitzschioides, Asterionella japonica, Chaetoceros socialis, Chaetoceros debilis, and Leptocylindrus danicus. The species Skeletonema costatum is most abundant, especially in the estuary.

Zooplankton density somewhat follows that of the phytoplankton, in that it decreases with increasing distance from the productive estuary zone. Copepods dominate the estuarine system (Table 18) most of the year, except for the summer period which is dominated by meroplankton, those organisms that spend only part of the life cycle as plankton and typically include benthic invertebrate larvae and fish larvae. In the estuary, meroplankton can range in abundance from 1,000 to 400,000 individuals per cubic meter, whereas copepod abundance can range from 1,000 to 90,000 individuals per cubic meter in the estuary and 200 to 8,000 individuals per cubic meter in the outer Bight.

The benthos of the New York Bight is a large biomass component of the continental shelf ecosystem and, as such, plays a significant role in the energy and material flows throughout the food web. Benthic organisms are usually defined as those invertebrates that live in or on the bottom substrate in the subtidal zone, below the low tide line. Animals whose normal orientation is that of living on the bottom or on firm surfaces are known as epibenthic, and include such known organisms in the study area as mussels, barnacles, shrimp species, crab species, and lobsters. Infauna, those benthic organisms that reside in the sediments, include polychaete worms, clams, and crustaceans. The majority of benthic invertebrates have no direct commercial or recreational value, but provide much of the food for the bottom feeding and dwelling fish and predatory invertebrate species that are themselves important in the region's commercial fisheries. Bottom-dwelling fish such as flounders, cod, and tautog, as well as other fishes that occasionally forage on the bottom such as striped bass and bluefish, all feed on the rich benthic resources of the Bight. Commercially important benthic food resources common to the Bight include surf clam (Spisula solidissima), ocean quahog (Arctica islandica), northern quahog (Mercenaria mercenaria), American lobster (Homarus americanus), blue crab (Callinectes sapidus), and cancer crab (Cancer irroratus).

Benthic invertebrates can be grouped by their size. Organisms larger than 0.5 millimeters are called macrofauna; meiofauna are between 0.5 millimeters and 63 micrometers; organisms smaller than 63 micrometers are microbiota. The microbiota are extremely abundant unicellular organisms that include bacteria, fungi, protozoans, and blue-green algae and occur in every square millimeter of the sediment and water environment. They are the primary decomposers of detrital materials, converting these materials to nutrients that are subsequently recycled into the water. Nutrients become available to the primary producers in the planktonic food web through the processes of resuspension and diffusion. Meiofauna consist of a broad taxonomic grouping that includes nematodes, harpacticoid copepods, tardigrades, and of some of the macroinvertebrate species. Meiofauna and microfauna use the organic detritus of the sediments as a food source. There are several basic methods that these groups use to feed. Filter feeding, taking in particles suspended in the water by current or wave action, is a method used by a number of epibenthic species such as mussels, scallops, and clams. Deposit feeding can be of two varieties: scraping the rich surface layer, and subsurface feeding. Selective deposit feeders make up the majority of benthic animals, and include most epifauna (mysids, shrimp, amphipods, isopods, gastropods, and sea stars) and many infauna (polychaetes, worms, and bivalves).

Most of the long-term benthic studies in the Bight have focused on the macrofauna; a 1991 study of the benthic macrofauna of the Bight collected a total of 699 taxa. The distribution of these taxonomic groups was: polychaetes 46%, crustaceans 24%, bivalves 11%, gastropods 9%, echinoderms 4%, coelenterates 2%, and miscellaneous taxa 4%. Generally there are three biomass zones in the Bight: shelf, coastal, and Hudson Shelf Valley. These zones exhibit natural variation in topography and sediment type, and the benthic communities show considerable spatial and temporal heterogeneity. Steimle developed mean biomass figures for these zones: 50 to 200 grams/square meter on the shelf, 100 grams/square meter in the Hudson Shelf Valley, and highly variable in the coastal zone, due to the influence of highly variable populations of sand dollars (Echinarachnius parma).

Because of their orientation to the bottom, benthic organisms serve as important indicators of environmental perturbations. This is particularly illustrated by the massive mortalities that have been associated with hypoxic, or low dissolved oxygen, events. There are several important indicator species that are particularly sensitive to chemical contamination, such as amphipod species (Unciola irrorat) found throughout the Bight in all clean sediment types. Others are tolerant of contamination, such as capitella worm (Capitella capitata), a small, opportunistic, burrowing, deposit feeder that is resistant to increased concentrations of phosphates, reduced chlorinities, and high substrate organic content; it also tolerates moderately low dissolved oxygen (DO) and has the ability to quickly reproduce. When found in large numbers, capitella are good indicators of anthropogenic stress or pollution. The 1991 Reid study noted that: benthic macrofauna was present in all of the samples that were taken; there were clear spatial patterns; and there was no evidence to suggest any gross changes to the benthic community structure in the Bight over the 15-year period covered by the survey.

Shelf Break Zone

At the seaward edge of the shelf in 100 to 200 meters (328 to 656 feet) of water, there is a point where the surface gradient increases greatly from 1:2,500 to 1:100 or more; this is known as the shelf break between the gentle gradient of the continental shelf and the steep gradient of the continental slope. The surface waters seaward of the shelf, to about a 200-meter (656-foot) depth, are known as the epipelagic division. This is a very active area for pelagic fishes, especially at the shelf break; more importantly, this zone includes most of the seasonal offshore cetacean and turtle activity. It is a zone of wide-ranging physical characteristics, operating somewhat less variably than does the nearshore component. This area is somewhat less productive than is the nearshore area, particularly because it lacks the nutrient enrichment of the coastal waters; however, because of the interaction of currents and the sharp bathymetry change, upwelling occurs, which causes the transport to the surface of nutrient-rich deep water, providing for more biological activity in the shelf/slope break area.

Canyons and Valleys

The morphological features of the sea floor of the New York Bight include Block, Hudson, and Wilmington Canyons, and a variety of small shelf features including shelf valleys, shoal retreat massifs, cuestas, shelf deltas, and ridge and swale topography. Shelf valleys and canyons were cut by streams and rivers that crossed the shelf during earlier geological periods of lower sea level. The Hudson Shelf Valley is the most prominent shelf feature; it carves a valley up to 37 meters (121 feet) below the shelf surface. The valley extends about 120 kilometers (65 miles) from the entrance of New York Harbor south and southeast until it flattens and becomes indistinct at the slope edge, in an area known as the Hudson Apron. This is the only submarine canyon of the continental slope that has eroded into the shelf. The topography of the Hudson Shelf Valley is vastly different from that of the surrounding shelf area and supports its own array of fish and invertebrate species. Tilefish (Lopholatilus chamaeleonticeps) are unique to this area, using the steep-walled areas of the canyons and slope as shelters in the form of multiple, tiered excavations that may have been dug by offshore populations of American lobsters (Homarus americanus) sharing this area. Tilefish feed mostly on crustaceans, but are known to eat a variety of invertebrates and fishes. Stomach content analysis of these predators provides insight to other creatures that live in the canyon habitats. Some of the food items that have been identified are galathied crabs, bivalve mollusks, echinoderms, annelid worms, sea cucumbers, anemones, tunicates, sea urchins, American lobster, shrimp, squids, and fishes.

Threats to the Marine Zone

Coastal and estuarine waters receive the majority of pollutants introduced by humans into the marine environment. The New York Bight is a heavily urbanized watershed supporting the largest coastal population of people in the United States. The associated habitat abuses and environmental insults resulting from this development affect the entire Mid-Atlantic water mass. Major threats affecting the Bight include coastal urbanization, wetland and coastal use modifications, ocean dumping and waste disposal, port development and maintenance, agricultural practices and development, transportation, energy production, marine mineral mining, and cumulative nonpoint source pollution issues.

The ocean area within the New York Bight has traditionally been used for the disposal of wastes, including sewage sludge, dredged materials, chemical wastes, cellar dirt, and radioactive materials. This use has significantly degraded the habitats and associated organisms in the waters. Organic loading of riverine, estuarine, and coastal waters is an emerging problem. Symptoms of this loading are the increasing prevalence of excessive algae blooms, shifts in algal species composition, high sediment biological oxygen demand (BOD) at affected sites, and anoxic events in nearcoastal and estuarine waters. Domestic waste discharge and other household nonpoint source contaminants are major sources of the contaminant burden to the nearshore waters and benthos. Domestic wastes include fecal contaminants, heavy metals, agricultural runoff, leachate from landfills, highway and urban runoff, chemical and oil spills, and contaminated (PCBs and PAHs) sediment movement in some of the riverine and bay areas. Atmospheric contaminants are another domestic nonpoint source typically carried out to sea in aerosol form.

Urban sprawl and suburbanization have exerted tremendous pressure on the integrity and health of the coastal ecosystem. This pressure will likely continue into the foreseeable future. A major problem arising from coastal and riverine urban development is the increase in nonpoint source contamination of the estuarine and coastal waters. Development of the uplands and the shore zone contributes to adverse impacts in the marine environment. Reduction of terrestrial vegetation and destruction of fringe marshes diminishes ecosystem function. Construction of infrastructure associated with urban development, such as highways and parking lots, causes runoff that carries soil particles, fertilizers, biocides, heavy metals, oil products, PCBs, and a host of other compounds harmful to the aquatic environment. Growing residential, commercial, and industrial consumptive use of our surface waters not only affects water demand but also contributes to flow pattern disruption, and waste water treatment and disposal issues. Use of significant volumes of fresh water can affect both groundwater resources and downstream salinity regimes, upsetting and displacing species from their spawning, nursery, and adult habitats. Intense demand for home sites, resorts, marinas, and commercial development has resulted in the loss of valuable wetland resources through filling, dredging, ditching, diking, and shoreline modification. Increased population intensifies recreational uses of the coastal areas, including the demands for boating facilities and access to the water.

Mining for sand, gravel, and shellstock, as well as exploration and production drilling of the outer continental shelf, affect the biota and their habitats. Sand and gravel mining can result in loss of infaunal benthic organisms; mining modifications of the substrate in the plume area can sometimes be measured in miles. Deep borrow pits within areas of minimal flushing can have decreased dissolved oxygen and may become seasonally or permanently anaerobic. Deposition of drilling mud during exploratory and production drilling affects the surrounding habitats. Accidents that result in spilled oil products can originate from well blowouts, pipeline breaks, and shipping accidents; these can have a devastating effect on the environment.


Bowman, M. J., and L. D. Wunderlich. 1977. Hydrographic properties. Monograph 1. MESA New York Bight Project Atlas Series. New York Sea Grant Institute, Albany, NY.

Duedall, I.W., H.B. O'Connors, R.E. Wilson, and J.H. Parker. 1977. The Lower Bay complex. Monograph 29. MESA New York Bight Project Atlas Series. New York Sea Grant Institute, Albany, NY.

Freeland, G.L. and D.J.P. Swift. 1977. Surficial sediments. Monograph 10. MESA New York Bight Project Atlas Series. New York Sea Grant Institute, Albany, NY.

Gross, M. G. 1976. Waste disposal. Monograph 26. MESA New York Bight Project Atlas Series. New York Sea Grant Institute, Albany, NY.

Hammon, A. 1976. Port facilities and commerce. Monograph 20. MESA New York Bight Project Atlas Series. New York Sea Grant Institute, Albany, NY.

Pacheco, A., Editor. 1988. Characterization of the Middle Atlantic management unit of the Northeast Regional action plan. U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service, Sandy Hook Marine Laboratory, Highlands, NJ.

Rogers, Golden and Halpern, Inc. 1990. Profile of the Barnegat Bay. Prepared for the Barnegat Bay Study Group. Final report.

Sherman, K., et al. 1988. The continental shelf ecosystem off the Northeast Coast of the United States. In H. Postma and J.J. Zijlstra (eds.) Continental shelves. Ecosystems of the World. Elsevier, Amsterdam.

Schubel, J.R., T.M. Bell, and H.H. Carter, (eds.). 1991. The Great South Bay. Marine Science Research Center, State University of New York, Stony Brook, NY.

Wilk, S.J., and B.M. Baker. 1989. Results of a fish-megainvertebrate survey of the New York Bight Apex, late Summer 1983. Bulletin of the New Jersey Academy of Science, vol. 34, no. 2, Fall 1989, pp. 1-13.


TABLE 17. Phytoplankton species for three Bight transects, one parallel to the coast (NY-NJ Transect) and two perpendicular, coast to shelf break, maximum value for density(over 104/liter) observed at any station during the month of highest abundance. (Adopted from Malone, 1977)

  Long Island   New Jersey   LI -NJ Transect  
  Month Max. Month Max. Month Max.
Thalassionema nitzschioides Dec 1x105 Dec 7x104 Dec 1x105
Skeletonema costatum Feb 3x104 Dec 6x105 Dec 5x105
Rhizosolenia faeroense Feb 2x104     Feb 4x104
Chaetoceros debilis Mar 8x104     Apr 2x104
Leptocylindrus danicus Jul 5x104        
Rhizosolenia alata Jul 2x104 Dec 2x104 Sept 1x104
Asterionella japonica     Feb 1x105    
Rhizosolenia delicatula     Feb 2x104    
Chaetoceros socialis     Mar 1x105 Mar 9x105
Calycomonas gracilis     Apr 9x104    
Nitzschia closterim         Sept 2x104


TABLE 18. Salinity classification and location of common copepod species.
(After Malone, 1977)

Species Salinity Classification Areas Found
Eurytemora affinis e E, IB
Eurytemora americana e E, IB
Eurytemora herdmani e E
Acartia clausi e-m E, IB, OB
Acartia tonsa e-m E, IB, OB
Pseudodiaptomus coronatus e-m E
Oithona brevicornis e-m E, IB
Oithona similis e-m E, IB, OB
Tortanus discaudatus e-m E, IB, OB
Paracalanus crassiostris e-m E, IB, OB
Paracalanus parvus eu-m IB, OB
Pseudocalanus minutus eu-m E, IB, OB
Labidocera aestiva eu-m E, IB, OB
Temora longicornis eu-m E, IB, OB
Temora stylifera eu-m OB
Centropages hamatus eu-m E, IB, OB
Centropages typicus s-m E, IB, OB
Calanus finmarchicus s-m E, IB, OB
Aetideus armatus s-m OB
Clausocalanus pergens s-m OB
Gaidius tenuispinus s-m OB

e = estuarine E = estuary e-m = estuarine - marine eu-m = euryhaline - marine IB = inner Bight s-m = stenohaline - marine OB = outer Bight

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