Conclusions

NewYork Harbor is home to a variety of marine and estuarine species that depend on informed and responsible management practices. Recognition of the important ecological role this system plays is critical to the overall health of the estuary. Development projects that would reduce species abundance, limit diversity, inhibit feeding, and lower growth should be avoided. We have demonstrated that municipal piers in the lower Hudson River have these consequences, and our studies suggest that shading is responsible. We support efforts to reduce the duration, intensity, and area of shading in existing and future pier development projects. The lower Hudson River continues to be important spawning and juvenile fish habitat for a host of commercially andrecreationallyimportant species so new development projects that have the potential to shade open, shallow-water (<5 m) areas in this system should be carefully evaluated prior to approval.

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