New York Natural Heritage Program
High Salt Marsh
High salt marsh on Fisher's Island Gregory J. Edinger
System: Estuarine
SubSystem: Estuarine Intertidal

State Protection: Not Listed
Federal Protection: Not Listed

State Rarity Rank: S3S4
A State Rarity Rank of S3S4 means: Vulnerable in New York, or Apparently Secure - Vulnerable to becoming imperiled in New York, with relatively few populations or locations, few individuals, and/or restricted range; or uncommon but not rare in New York; may be rare in some parts of the state; possibly some cause for long-term concern due to declines or other factors. More information is needed to assign a single conservation status.

Global Rarity Rank: G4
A Global Rarity Rank of G4 means: Apparently secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.


Did you know?
At one time, salt-meadow grass (Spartina patens) was the backbone of Long Island's economy. During agriculture's early years on the Coastal Plain, this "salt marsh hay" was a staple forage crop for livestock. Presence of a marsh with salt hay was a major deciding factor in the settlement of new towns along the New England coast. These "salt meadows" were owned by the town and rights to mow and carry away the hay were auctioned off annually (Kavenagh 1980, Nixon 1982).

State Ranking Justification [-]
There are an estimated 25 to 50 extant occurrences statewide. The several documented occurrences have good viability and most are protected on public land or private conservation land. The community is restricted to sheltered areas of the seacoast in the Coastal Lowlands and Manhattan Hills ecozones, and includes a few moderate sized, good quality examples. The current trend of the community is declining. Substantial primary threats, common to all salt marsh complexes, include ditching and draining, dredging and filling, common reed (Phragmites australis) invasion, poor water quality, diking and impoundment, inlet stabilization, shoreline hardening, wrack accumulation, altered sediment budget, subsidence, changes in water circulation patterns, restricted tidal connection, and altered tidal hydrodynamics.

Short-term Trends [-]

Long-term Trends [-]