A Great White Shark Was Spotted in the Long Island Sound: Environmental Clean-Ups May Have Brought It There (Credit: The Washington Post)
A Great White Shark was spotted off the coast of Long Island near the Long Island Sound on May 20.
The shark, known as Cabot by marine data tracking company Ocearch, is alarming, but not in the worrisome manner that the creatures are often associated with. The shark alarmed researchers at the group with overwhelming positivity since Cabot’s track near the Long Island coast may be indication of waters full of marine life due to a possibly cleaner Sound.
It was back in 2010 that efforts to clean up both the East River and the Long Island Sound began as city officials cut nitrogen emissions from four wastewater treatment plants in the Upper East River. At the time, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) estimated the measure would reduce emissions at the plants by 52 percent. Nitrogen levels in bodies of water with living organisms must remain at critical levels to keep biological life from dying off. Excess nitrogen can inhibit algae growth, which is detrimental to fish and other maritime creatures. A prosperous water source will in turn attract larger predators, such as Cabot, who may be in search of a meal.
While 2010 brought clean-up efforts by city officials, it was as far back as 1997 that local officials were banding together to clean up the Sound. Tom Suozzi, then the Mayor of Glen Cove, New York, and Dannel Malloy, Mayor of Stamford, Connecticut, created “Orchestrating Both Coasts for a Better Sound” in an effort to clean the Sound of frequent sewage spills and nitrogen. Success came at the tune of a 58.5 percent reduction of nitrogen levels in the Sound. Come 2017, the same two public officials, now U.S. Representative and Connecticut Governor, respectively, would pledge to continue efforts to preserve the Long Island Sound’s natural beauty.
Luckily for Great Whites, and Sharks, it looks like the Sound is thriving and offering plenty of meals to keep the food chain going!
For more on ocean related topics, click here!
©2019 Weather Forecaster Jacob Dolinger