Assessing the Condition of Wetlands in New York

The NY Natural Heritage Program and environmental firm Tetra Tech are teaming up this summer to assess the condition of various wetlands across New York for the EPA.  The project began with wetlands in the Adirondacks, continues on to Western New York, and finishes on Long Island.  Below are some photos from the work in the Adirondacks. – Steve Young

Each site requires lots of equipment to sample the vegetation in five 100 meter square plots along with soil samples. Some sites are close to roads. Others require some bushwhacking with backpacks.

Chad Barbour and Elizabeth Spencer dig a soil pit near Louisville in St. Lawrence County. Dirty Jobs anyone?

Lots and lots of data and samples are taken at each site. It takes about 6-7 hours to complete the process.

Staff from DEC and TNC helped us access some of the more remote sites. Here Todd Dunham from TNC shows us a small waterfall near one of our sites.

So far we have sampled a variety of wetlands like this wet meadow near Louisville.

And a beautiful spruce-fir swamp southeast of the Carry Falls Reservoir.

As well as an alder shrub swamp along Moose Creek southwest of Follensby Pond.

We documented some beautiful examples of wetland flora like this Platanthera psycodes.

Virgin's-bower, Clematis virginiana, was a dominant in the alder swamp.

There is always a Carex species or two, or three, or four . . . This is Carex vesicaria in the shrub swamp.

Black elderberry, Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis, was also common in the shrub swamp.

Many tricolored bumble bees, Bombus ternarius, were feasting on the spotted joe-pye-weed.

In the spruce-fir swamp we saw the rough bark of red spruce, on the left, with the smoother bark (with resin blisters) of balsam fir on the right.

This northern white cedar had its bark damaged by a bear.

Future posts will document our work as it continues in other regions of the state. Elizabeth records data in the wet meadow.

 

 

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