Directions for Further Study

High-resolution geophysical imaging, sediment and benthic sampling, and the creation of GIS-basedproducts that are widely available are providing important new insights into the nature of the terrain and the interrelationships between landscape and habitat characteristics in the Hudson River Estuary. Initial evaluation of the detailed mapping results from the length of the Hudson River Estuary suggests that estuarine sedimentary environments and sediments can be highly variable, but that habitat characteristics appear to be consistent over much larger areas. Our results raise many new questions about the nature and fau-nal structure of benthic habitats and the temporal and spatial variability of sedimentary environments and their relationship to physical forcing and sediment supply. These results and increase the likelihood of recovering long-term and highresolution climate records from the river in order to understand the evolution of this complex environment. We have also learned that the Hudson River Estuary contains an extensive record of cultural resources that need to be understood as well as protected. These kinds of insights help to provide a scientific basis for the management of this large and heavily used natural resource, to increase our understanding of natural processes in estuar-ine settings, and to provide a resource to a wide range of investigations into the structure and dynamics of the Hudson River Estuary.

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