American Society of Civil Engineers


Winter Flounder Habitat Utilization and Environmental Windows in New York and New Jersey Harbor


by Catherine Mulvey, (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-New York District, 26 Federal Plaza, New York, NY 10278-0090 E-mail: Catherine.J.Mulvey@usace.army.mil), Thomas Costanzo, (Manager, Capital Programs, Waterways Development Port Commerce Department The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, 225 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10003 E-mail: tcostanz@panynj.gov), Thomas Shea, (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-New York District, 26 Federal Plaza, New York, NY 10278-0090 E-mail: Thomas.Shea@usace.army.mil), Jenine Gallo, (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-New York District, 26 Federal Plaza, New York, NY 10278-0090 E-mail: Jenine.Gallo@usace.army.mil), Doug Clarke, (US Army Engineer Research and Development Center Dredging Operations Technical Support Program, 3909 Halls Ferry Road, Vicksburg, MS 39180 E-mail: Douglas.G.Clarke@erdc.usace.army.mil), David Davis, (HDR Engineering, One Blue Hill Plaza, Pearl River, NY, 10965 E-mail: david.davis@hdrinc.com), and Sarah Zappala, (HDR Engineering, One Blue Hill Plaza, Pearl River, NY, 10965 E-mail: sarah.zappala@hdrinc.com)
Section: Environmental Protection, pp. 530-539, (doi:  http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/41098(368)55)

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Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: Ports 2010: Building on the Past, Respecting the Future
Abstract: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Port Authority of New York and New Jersey are conducting an Aquatic Biological Survey in support of the New York and New Jersey Harbor Deepening Project. The program was designed to address National Marine Fisheries Service concerns that the process of deepening select channels in the harbor complex might detrimentally affect Essential Fish Habitat for winter flounder. To better understand how winter flounder use large, modified coastal estuaries with an emphasis on navigation channels and adjacent shallow areas, early life history stages as well as juveniles and adults were sampled in 1999 and from 2001 to 2009 at stations throughout the harbor. Spatial and temporal trends in winter flounder abundance demonstrate that different areas of the harbor are indeed important at different stages of their life history. Observed spatial and temporal patterns of abundance and density indicate that this species uses specific areas of the harbor for spawning and nursery habitat functions. Results of the program have been used to manage the sequence of construction contracts and maintenance of navigation infrastructure in a manner that optimally protects winter flounder habitat and project goals. In addition, Aquatic Biological Survey data have been used to modify and reduce no-dredging windows, to identify data gaps on winter flounder early life stages to assist resource managers, and to help define/refine winter flounder Essential Fish Habitat within New York and New Jersey Harbor. Collectively, the investments in monitoring and agency coordination facilitated valuable progress for project management supported by a strong technical foundation.


ASCE Subject Headings:
Aquatic habitats
Environmental issues
New York
New Jersey
Harbors