The 347 acres of seagrass growing around Fishers Island provides many benefits to both wildlife and people. Seagrass provides habitat to thousands of different organisms, protects the island’s sandy beaches and cleans and oxygenates coastal waters. However, this important habitat and resource is increasingly at risk due to stressors such as nutrient runoff, boating activity, hardened shorelines and habitat fragmentation.
You can help the Fishers Island Seagrass Management (FISM) Coalition protect and conserve the seagrass off our coast by completing a short survey. The Coalition has created this Stakeholder Usage Survey through SeaSketch, a web-based mapping tool.
You will be asked to identify the one or two activities that you most frequently engage in along the coast of Fishers Island. You will then be able to place color-coded pins in the areas where you engage in these activities. These data will help guide the Coalition’s planning process when designing seagrass management areas (SMAs). The survey can be taken anonymously and takes about 5 minutes to complete.
Results from this survey will be used to gain a better understanding of how everyone is using the near-shore waters where seagrass grows. With more information from the community, the Coalition can tailor SMAs to specific areas and ensure that there is a balance between conservation and human use of the waters.
The image below is a screenshot of the results gathered so far from the survey. Each color represents a different activity. For example, gold represents “swimming from shore” while orange marks areas where people “kayak/canoe/paddleboard”. Areas of green represent seagrass meadows identified during a 2017 US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) survey.
Click here to take the survey. The link will take you to the FISM website where you can read step-by-step instructions on how to fill out the survey. You can also access a video demonstration on how to fill out the survey.
Note: the survey works best when taken on a computer.
Questions can be directed to the FISM project coordinator, Connor Jones, at firstname.lastname@example.org