Bard College Field Station, Annandale, NY 12504, 845-758-7010
The Hudson River National Estuarine Research ReserveThe Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve (HRNERR) is a network of four coastal wetlands located along 100 miles of the Hudson Estuary.
The primary goal of the Reserve is the protection and prudent management of the Reserve's biologically diverse estuarine communities. The sites are managed as long-term natural field laboratories for research and education.
Within the Reserve's 4800 acres lie amazing worlds of tidal marshes, swamps, subtidal shallows, and intertidal flats that provide food and shelter for aquatic invertebrates, fish, reptiles, and mammals. Ospreys, bald eagles, herons, and rails are among the 150 species of birds that frequent the Reserve. Deer, foxes, snakes, turkeys, and a host of other animals inhabit the upland forests.
The Reserve program is administered by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation in cooperation with the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation; the NYS Department of State; the NYS Office of General Services; the Palisades Interstate Park Commission; and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The four Reserve components are also charter sites in New York's Hudson River Estuarine Sanctuary.
THE SITESThe four sites included in the HRNERR are examples of the diverse wetland communities found along the tidal Hudson. For the 152 miles below the Federal Dam at Troy the Hudson is an estuary, a tidal river that ebbs and floods with the daily tides. The broad salinity gradient created by the meeting and mixing of the Atlantic's saltwater with the river's freshwater determines whether a Hudson River wetland supports brackish, slightly brackish, or tidal freshwater plant and animal communities.
STOCKPORT FLATS, the northern-most site in the HRNERR, includes five miles of shoreline and about 1500 acres north of the city of Hudson, with a mosaic of tidal freshwater marshes, intertidal flats, subtidal shallows, and dredge spoil islands.
TIVOLI BAYS' 1700 acres include Tivoli North Bay, an extensive marsh cut by meandering tidal creeks and fringed by tidal swamps; Tivoli South Bay, a large, shallow cove with mudflats exposed at Iow tide; several islands; and two tributary streams.
IONA ISLAND's slightly brackish marshes, subtidal shallows, intertidal flats and its upland deciduous forest lie in the heart of the Hudson Highlands, about forty-five miles from the Atlantic. The 560 acre site serves as an wintering ground for bald eagles.
PIERMONT MARSH is the largest brackish wetland on the Hudson and includes about 1,000 acres of tidal marsh and subtidal Shallows. Located twenty-three miles upriver from the Atlantic, where salinity is roughly half that of ocean water, the marsh supports salt-tolerant plants and a wealth of other estuarine life.
RESEARCHResearch activities at the Reserve enhance resource protection by building a comprehensive body of scientific information about each site. Baseline data are used to monitor changes in the estuarine environment and to provide better management of these and other Hudson River tidal wetlands. Recent research conducted at tidal wetlands. Recent research conducted at the Reserve has provided information on:
EDUCATIONThe Reserve's educational programs strive to increase the public's awareness-and understanding of the vital ecological and economic roles of estuaries and their tidal wetland communities. Programs are closely integrated with research conducted at Reserve sites, and seek to communicate recent scientific findings to decision-makers and the general public. The Reserve's educational offerings include:
Page Updated November 2000