This blog is dedicated to the environmental well-being of our Florida coastal habitat.

This blog is
dedicated to the environmental well-being of coastal habitat.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

More Habitat Means More Fish


New report highlights positive impacts of habitat restoration on conservation and economy

For many years the American Littoral Society has been at the forefront of habitat restoration in our region. We are restoring oysters and the habitat their reefs provide in Barnegat Bay and Delaware Bay. We are promoting and implementing "Living Shorelines" throughout New Jersey--an innovative technique to restore shallow water habitats while controlling shoreline erosion. Our large-scale scale salt marsh restoration in Jamaica Bay is well under way. All of this work is designed to strengthen fisheries and support the industries (and people) that rely upon them.

A new report, More Habitat Means More Fish, makes a compelling case for this special relationship between habitat and healthy commercial and recreational fisheries. It was released earlier today by Restore America's Estuaries (RAE) and the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) and co-authored with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Key Findings  

More Habitat Means More Fish is packed with real life examples of coastal habitat restoration projects that have been implemented around the U.S. and the positive impact they have had including:
  • Over 75 percent of our nation's commercial fish catch and 80-90 percent of the recreational fish catch depend on key estuary habitat at some point in their lifecycle.
  • Fish populations can respond quickly to habitat improvement and the impact will last over an extended period of time. Rebounds in fish populations can occur within months and persist for years.
  • Since 2000, in Massachusetts and New York, herring, shad and sturgeon have doubled and tripled in population due to habitat restoration projects.
ALS Logo
Sandy Recovery Connection
Coastal habitat restoration has become doubly important in our post-Sandy recovery period and our voice is the loudest advocating for including habitat restoration in NJ and NY recovery plans. Restored habitats such as oyster reefs, natural shorelines and restored tidal marshes can contribute to the overall resilience to storms and help reduce hazards. These benefits, coupled with the economic benefits to our fisheries and the industries supported by healthy, restored, fisheries habitats,  make it crystal clear that restoration of fisheries habitats should be a priority in our recovery from Sandy.

Restored habitats can help protect our communities and support the health of our fisheries, and the communities that depend on them.