New York Natural Heritage Program
Low Salt Marsh
Low salt marsh in Jamaica Bay, Gateway National Recreation Area. 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?
The ribbed mussel (Geukensia demissa) is a common sight in low salt marshes; in Jamaica Bay marshes they can be found in clusters as dense as 10,000 mussels per square meter! This species can be distinguished from other mussels by the parallel grooves on their shells, which form annually and can be counted to determine the mussel's age. Ribbed mussels attach to the base of salt marsh cordgrass, to rocks in the muddy substrate, and to each other with silky 'byssus' protein threads that are secreted by a gland in the organism's foot. Individual mussels can live for more than 15 years and grow to over 10 cm in length (Franz 2000).

State Ranking Justification [-]
There are an estimated 25 to 50 extant occurences 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 the Coastal Lowlands and Manhattan Hills ecozones, and includes a few moderately sized, good quality examples. The current trend of the community is declining; the speed and severity of the decline varies by site. Substantial primary threats include ditching and draining, dredging and filling, shoreline hardening, poor water quality, diking and impoundment, inlet stabilization, altered sediment budget, slumping and subsidence, changes in water circulation patterns, sea level rise, restricted tidal connection, and altered tidal hydrodynamics.

Short-term Trends [-]

Long-term Trends [-]