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Water: Planning

Definitions/Contacts for FY 2009 National Water Program Guidance Measures Subobjective: Restore and Protect Long Island Sound

Measure Code: SP-41

Measure Language: Reduce point source nitrogen discharges to Long Island Sound as measured by the Long Island Sound Nitrogen Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL).

Type of Measure: Target measure; Annually reported

Measure Contact: Joe Salata, EPA Long Island Sound Office
salata.joseph@epa.gov | (203) 977-1541

Measure Definition

This measure is the annual aggregate reduction from the TMDL-defined baseline point source nitrogen discharge from 104 sewage treatment plants (STPs) in Connecticut and New York discharging to Long Island Sound waters.

Terms and phrases: Long Island Sound Nitrogen Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) is the TMDL submitted to EPA in 2000 by Connecticut and New York to attain dissolved oxygen standards in Long Island Sound, an impaired water body  consisting of New York and Connecticut waters. The States of Connecticut and New York proposed Long Island Sound as impaired waters for dissolved oxygen under Clean Water Act (CWA) 303(d).

Methodology for computation of results: TMDL baseline is 211,724 lbs/day. Annual aggregate reduction = TMDL baseline minus 2014 target (84,474 lbs/day) divided by 15 year TMDL time period = 8,487 lbs/day calculated annual aggregate reduction. 

States report sewage treatment plants’ (STPs) nitrogen discharges through EPA’s Discharge Monitoring Report process.  This measure is calculated based on total annual average loads from 104 STPs discharging to Long Island Sound from Connecticut and New York.

Units: Average pounds per day of nitrogen discharged by STPs over the calendar year.

Universe: There is no universe of point source nitrogen loads.  Population increases in the watershed would increase the nitrogen load.  However, if considered in the context of the TMDL-defined allocation, the universe of nitrogen reduction would be the difference between the baseline load and the TMDL, or 127,250 lbs/day.

Baseline: Long Island Sound nitrogen TMDL, approved by EPA in 2000. Baseline is 211,724 pounds per day of nitrogen as calculated in the TMDL.


Measure Code: SP-42

Measure Language: a) Reduce the size of the hypoxic area in Long Island Sound (i.e., defined as the area in which the long-term average maximum July-September dissolved oxygen level is <3mg/l; b) reduce the average duration of the maximum hypoxic event.

Type of Measure: Indicator measure; Annually reported

Measure Contact: Joe Salata, EPA Long Island Sound Office
salata.joseph@epa.gov | (203) 977-1541

Measure Definition

This measure refers to the area in square miles and the duration in days of the maximum area of hypoxia, or lack of dissolved oxygen, in Long Island Sound as measured from water samples taken at given intervals at established monitoring stations in Long Island Sound. The measure refers to bottom water hypoxia measured at <1 meter from the bottom. Hypoxic conditions generally set up sometime in the western Sound basin in late June to early July and may extend to early to late September.

Terms and phrases:

  • Hypoxia is defined as dissolved oxygen (DO) concentrations less than three milligrams of dissolved oxygen per liter of water.
  • The maximum area is the peak area of bottom waters in Long Island Sound experiencing hypoxia as interpolated from the fixed stations sampled.
  • Duration is the number of days that hypoxia is observed from any of the fixed stations sampled.

Methodology for computation of results: Dissolved oxygen is calculated for each water sample taken from fixed stations sampled from June to October. The duration is calculated as the number of days that DO concentrations less than 3.0 milligrams per liter of dissolved oxygen are sampled from any of the fixed stations. The duration period ends when sampling at monitoring stations indicates dissolved oxygen exceeds 3.0 milligrams per liter at all stations sampled. The area of hypoxia is estimated based on an interpolation of the maximum area from stations where DO concentrations are less than 3.0 milligrams per liter.

Units: Area = square miles; duration = number of days

Universe: n/a.  The total surface area of Long Island Sound is approximately 1,400 square miles. The number of days in which hypoxic conditions may exist varies annually, but is monitored from June – September, or 122 days. Therefore, the potential for the maximum area and duration of hypoxia would be 1,400 square miles and 122 days. The 20 year average measured maximum area of hypoxia in the Sound is 203 square miles and the duration average is 58 days.

Baseline: This is an indicator measure, there is no annual target. The baseline is calculated based on 20 year annual averages of area and duration of the hypoxic event – 203 square miles and 58 days. (2005)


Measure Code: SP-43

Measure Language:Restore or protect acres of coastal habitat, including tidal wetlands, dunes, riparian buffers, and freshwater wetlands.

Type of Measure: Target measure; Cumulatively reported

Measure Contact: Joe Salata, EPA Long Island Sound Office
salata.joseph@epa.gov | (203) 977-1541

Measure Definition

This measure is the number of acres reported as restored or protected.

Terms and phrases:

  • Restoration is: the intentional alteration of a site to attempt to reestablish the approximate biogeophysical conditions that existed in the pre-disturbance ecosystem or habitat. (Long Island Sound Study Habitat Restoration Technical Manual, Introduction, ii. November 2003).
  • Protection is the removal of a threat to, or preventing the decline of conditions. Includes mechanisms such as land acquisition, conservation easements, deed restrictions, etc. or other designation to prevent alteration of the site. This term also includes activities commonly associated with the term preservation. Protection/maintenance does not result in a gain of acres or habitat function. (EPA National Estuary Program On-line Reporting Tool User Manual for NEP Staff, June 2006, Appendix, p.52.)

Methodology for computation of results:States report categorical acres of habitat based on physical projects reported as completed by the implementing or funded partners as of September 1, annually.

Units: Acre = 44,000 square feet or 4.046 square meters

Universe: The universe of acres that could be restored or protected is currently not known. Additional research would be needed to identify all areas currently degraded that could be feasibly restored. The target/commitment is derived from the Long Island Sound Study (LISS) 2003 Agreement signed in December 2002 by the states of New York and Connecticut. The target goal was subsequently revised by the LISS Policy Committee in September 2006.

Baseline: 712 acres in 2005. This was the cumulative total acreage restored or protected between 1998 and 2005 by the Long Island Sound Study. Subsequent progress in restoration and protection brought about a revision in the overall LISS habitat goals. In September 2006 the Policy Committee established a target to restore or protect 300 acres of coastal habitat by 2011. Since the LISS does not establish ‘annual’ goals, but EPA requires it, the target for FY2008 and beyond was calculated at restoring or protecting 50 acres per year (300 acres/6 years, 2007-2011 inclusive).


Measure Code: SP-44

Measure Language: Reopen miles of river and stream corridor to anadromous fish passage through removal of dams and barriers or installations of by-pass structures such as fishways.

Type of Measure: Target measure; Cumulatively reported

Measure Contact: Joe Salata, EPA Long Island Sound Office
salata.joseph@epa.gov | (203) 977-1541

Measure Definition

This measure indicates the linear miles of river or stream corridor that is reopened to diadromous fish passage by physical means. The measure includes river/stream reaches above the impairment that is removed or mitigated and the actionable river/stream is a historical diadromous fish habitat.

Terms and phrases

  • Diadromous fish travel between salt and fresh water to spawn.
  • Anadromous fish are spawned in fresh water and spend their adult lives in salt water.

This terminology in the measure was subsequently changed in 2008.

Methodology for computation of resultsThis measure is calculated and reported by the states upon physical completion of the project as of September 1 annually. River/stream reach reopened is measured from the physical impairment that is mitigated to the established breeding ground of the species in question.

Units: Linear mile = 5,280 feet or fraction thereof reopened.

Universe: There is currently no accepted figure for the universe of historical diadromous fish river/stream reaches. Preliminary estimates are that the historical universe of rivers or stream reaches that may have had diadromous fish runs may have been approximately 1,200 miles at some past point in time. The universe of potentially restorable river miles is not known.

Baseline: The baseline established was 81 miles in 2005. This was the then-current total miles reopened by the Long Island Sound Study (LISS) towards its goal of reopening 100 miles by 2008. Subsequent progress in meeting the target goal led to the revision of this goal to an additional 50 miles by 2011, or 131 miles cumulative. Since LISS does not establish annual goals, but EPA requires it, the target for FY 2008 and beyond was calculated at restoring 8.33 miles/year (50 miles/6 years, 2007-2011 inclusive)

 


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