The College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) in Syracuse, New York partnered with the New York State Adirondack Park Agency (APA), NYNHP and Paul Smiths College to complete a two-phase EPA Wetland Protection Program Development grant. The grant was used to establish a network of long-term wetland monitoring sites to enable analysis of wetland responses to climate change.
The project fills in gaps of knowledge in Adirondack Peatlands by creating a snapshot of what these peatlands look like today and monitoring key environmental, and ecological indicators of change such as plants and animals. The project produced a network of volunteers trained to conduct long-term monitoring of wetlands, a wetland condition database, preliminary data analysis, and allowed for data distribution.
Study highlights include:
The discovery of the southern-most documented example of a patterned peatland in the northeastern US (and only New York’s third example of this ecological type).
The discovery that some of the peatlands have frequent frosts (monthly, even in summer), which suggests they will either be resilient in the face of climate change because they are true cold spots, or they’ll warm up like everyplace else and change.
An app and website was developed by Adirondack Atlas for inputting data from smart phones and visualizing data.
One hundred thirty volunteers were trained in a Boreal Science Corps.
Photo of wetland study area by Steve Langdon.