Shelter Island, New York
Funded in FY2018 through the National Fish Habitat Action Plan.
The most substantial eelgrass bed remaining in any New York harbor is located in Coecles Harbor, Shelter Island. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is working with partners to improve the extent and quality of this nursery habitat by reducing the impact of traditional boat moorings on the remaining eelgrass. Traditional boat moorings use a block and chain design, which creates scour, removes eelgrass, and fragments and degrades habitat and water quality. Some of these moorings will be removed and replaced with conservation moorings, whose bungee-like design reduces impact to the bottom, allowing for eelgrass recovery and increased resiliency.
Please note, the mooring of boats and the establishment of mooring fields in seagrass beds is generally recognized as a significant source of damage to these important ecological communities across their range. As such, the Atlantic Coastal Fish Habitat Partnership only provided support to specific remediation actions at this and other designated project sites, which address historic damage caused by the scouring effects of traditional chain and block-anchor mooring systems. ACFHP does not support installing conservation moorings in healthy seagrass beds.
Text and photos provided by NY State Department of Environmental Conservation.