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From the Winter 2012 Conservationist for Kids

A green sea turtle swimming in the ocean

What's Here?

A Sample of New York's Marine Wildlife and Habitats

By Gina Jack

NEW YORK'S MARINE HABITATS include salt marshes, mud flats, seagrass beds, sandy bottoms, barrier islands, reefs, jetties, tidal estuaries and open water.

Since different animals and plants have different needs, we find different species in each habitat. Most of New York's marine wildlife live where sunlight penetrates and plants can grow, making food plentiful.

Some marine wildlife, such as flounder and blackfish, can be found here year-round. Others, such as harbor seals and sea turtles, migrate in and out of our waters with the seasons.

What's Here?

A bay scallop seen from the side
bay scallop

A selection of wildlife found in New York's marine waters

Bay scallop
Black sea bass
Fiddler crab
Finback whale
Flounder (Summer and Winter)- Flounder hatch with an eye on each side of their head, like other fish. As they develop, one eye moves across the top of the head and ends up on the other side. Adult flounders can face both eyes upwards when laying flat on the sea floor.
Great blue heron
Green sea turtle
Harbor seal
Horseshoe crab-Horseshoe crabs have been around since the days of the dinosaurs. They have blue blood!

A yellow and green lion's mane jellyfish
lion's mane jellyfish

Lion's mane jellyfish
Little skate
Makos-Makos are one of the fastest sharks, swimming at about 30 miles per hour, with short bursts up to 45 miles per hour.
Sea anemone
Sea horse
Sea star
Spotfin butterfly fish-Gulf stream ocean currents sometimes carry tropical animals, such as spotfin butterfly fish, into New York's waters.
Striped bass
Tautog or blackfish