Natural Resource Condition Assessments for Gateway National Recreation Area

The Natural Resource Condition Assessment (NRCA) Program provides framework, funding, and publishing support to parks to aid in the synthesis and documentation of natural resource conditions. Condition assessment reports are a tool to describe selected park resources, and record a snapshot of their current condition, identify trends, and identify potential or current threats and stressors. Understanding the condition and trend of natural resources is key for parks and NPS planners to appropriately prioritize and allocate stewardship resources.

Vegetation lined pond under a partly cloudy sky.
East Pond at the Wildlife Refuge. Jamaica Bay Unit of Gateway National Recreation Area.

NPS Photo

Bordering the greater New York and New Jersey metropolitan region, Gateway National Recreation Area (GATE) encompasses some of the last remaining open space surrounding New York Harbor. It is widely recognized that GATE adds critical open space in an increasingly urbanized region, provides refuge for many species, serves as a migration stop for wildlife, and is an important cultural landscape in the country’s history. Despite being surrounded by human development, the park supports a wide variety of animals, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and a large diversity of invertebrates.

Traditional NRCA Report: 2019

In order to better understand and manage the natural resources within the recreation area, a Natural Resource Condition Assessment was written and published in 2019. Staff from GATE, the Northeast and Coastal and Barrier Network of the NPS Inventory and Monitoring Program, NPS Northeast Regional Office, Columbia University, and the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science - Integration and Application Network discussed needs for the park and which resource were to be evaluated. This team chose ten resource topics based on the NPS Ecological Monitoring Framework and available data:

- Contaminant wet deposition

- Ozone

- Visibility

- Water quality

- Seabeach amaranth

- Piping plover

- Diamonback terrapin

- Holly forest

- Horseshoe crabs

- Land cover

Overall, natural resources in Gateway National Recreation Area are in a condition of moderate concern. Continued monitoring of all the resources in this assessment will be of great importance for management of the recreation area. Staff at Gateway National Recreation Area would particularly like to establish partnerships with local organizations for water monitoring. In addition, staff would like to develop a standard biological monitoring protocol and perform landscape viability assessments.

For other reports and natural resource datasets visit the NPS Data Store.

Source: Data Store Collection 7765 (results presented are a subset). To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.

Last updated: February 25, 2022


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