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Oceans & Estuaries

long grasses growing on a beach

New York has shoreline on the Northern Atlantic Ocean that connects to tidal and freshwater rivers and streams that drain through watersheds into the ocean. Within the Hudson Valley, New York City, and Long Island there are several distinct estuaries that serve as valuable habitat for marine life while providing essential human services to coastal communities and the regional economy.

There are five major estuaries in New York State:

  • Peconic Bays system
  • Long Island south shore bays system
  • New York/New Jersey Harbor
  • Hudson River Estuary
  • Long Island Sound

DEC, along with EPA, other state agencies, and local municipalities devised management plans for each of these areas to address their issues of concern and develop protection and restoration strategies.


More about Oceans & Estuaries:

  • New York Bight Whale Monitoring Program - Learn more about what the NYSDEC, in collaboration with the New York Natural Heritage Program and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC), is doing to study large whales in New York state.
  • Marine Protected Resources - Information about what NYSDEC is doing to help Marine protected species.
  • New York Ocean Action Plan - New York State is focused on improving the health of our ocean ecosystems and their capacity to provide sustainable benefits to New Yorkers.
  • Estuary Management Programs - Estuaries are transitional areas between freshwater habitats and the ocean. New York has several important estuaries: Peconic Bay, Long Island Sound, New York/New Jersey Harbor and the Hudson River.
  • Seagrass Management - Learn more about seagrass in New York's marine waters.
  • Marine Habitat Protection - New York States's marine habitats provide homes and refuge to a variety of marine organisms and opportunities for birdwatching, hiking, and fishing for us.
  • Hudson River Estuary Program - The Hudson River Estuary Program protects and conserves natural resources and ecosystem health, cleans up pollution and other impairments and promotes public use and enjoyment of the river
  • The Hudson Estuary: A River That Flows Two Ways - The Hudson River is not just a river, it is a tidal estuary, an arm of the sea where salty seawater meets fresh water running off the land
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  • Page applies to NYS Marine Costal District