A Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection and University of Connecticut Partnership
Barn Island Wildlife Management Area - Sentinel Monitoring

Barn Island - Background

Barn Island Wildlife Management Area (BIWMA) is one of 33 inaugural Long Island Sound Stewardship sites. This site was nominated by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) for the outstanding tidal marsh complex dominated by salt marsh communities and especially the long-term monitoring and research since 1946. In 2011, the Long Island Sound Study (LISS) produced a strategic plan for sentinel monitoring. The plan notes that several LISS committees highlighted the potential of using stewardship sites for sentinel monitoring.

Scientists are concerned that under certain rates of accelerated sea level rise, that sea level rise rates may exceed the wetlands ability to keep pace (i.e., grow vertically at the same pace) and subsequently will drown. Monitoring observations that have been made at Barn island and can be used to detect marsh vegetation change include transects, permanent photostations, plant community mapping, plot analysis and sediment elevation table.

The focus of this website is upon research and monitoring including access to data where available. Also found here is information about historic landuses and management activities, all of which have an influence on ecosystem change.