benthic community, sediments, Long Island Sound, GIS data, artificial reefs
High-resolution backscatter and bathymetric maps created by multibeam sonar surveys were used to identify different seafloor bottom types within existing, potentially expanded, and newly proposed reef areas in New York waters. Existing sites included Smithtown in Long Island Sound (LIS), and Rockaway, Atlantic Beach, Hempstead, Yellowbar, Kismet, Fire Island, Twelve Mile along the South Shore. Potential expansions are proposed on the South Shore for McAllister, Moriches, and Shinnecock reefs in addition to a new site called Sixteen Fathom. In Long Island Sound, new sites are proposed for Huntington/Oyster Bay, Port Jefferson/Mount Sinai, and Mattituck. Grab samples were collected within these areas to characterize sediment properties and macrofauna. Multivariate analysis was used to identify important factors explaining variations in community structure. Sites within Long Island Sound had 3 to 10 bottom types (i.e., acoustic provinces), but sediments and benthic community structure was characterized by greater among site variation compared to within site variability. Sites along the South Shore had 4 to 12 bottom types (acoustic provinces), and although sediments were mostly sandy, there was substantial within site variation in benthic community structure. This research dataset contains only the Long Island Sound GIS files. A second research dataset for the South Shore GIS was also deposited to Academic Commons.
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Cerrato, R.M., M. Sclafani. 2023. Reef Benthic Fauna and Sediment Characterization. Marine Sciences Research Center Special Report No. 142, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY, 90 pp.