What is the New York - New Jersey Harbor Estuary?


The Estuary is home to a rich diversity of fish, shellfish, bird, and other coastal species and is a stopover for migratory birds traveling along the Atlantic Flyway.  Because of its shipping channels and ports, recreational opportunities, and waterfronts, the Estuary provides great economic benefits to our region. However, the Estuary faces challenges large and small from pollutants, sewer overflows, climate change, development, marine debris and trash, and invasive species.

The New York-New Jersey Harbor Estuary includes the waters of New York Harbor and the tidally influenced portions of all rivers and streams that empty into the Harbor.

Satellite view of New York City, Northern New Jersey, and western Long Island.

The NY-NJ Harbor Estuary includes the water of the Hudson River shown in the top half of this picture as well as all the tidally influenced rivers and streams that enter the harbor.  Western Long Island Sound, visible on the right, is considered a separate waterbody from the New York - New Jersey Harbor Estuary.


What is the New York - New Jersey Harbor Bight?


The Bight is the ocean area extending approximately 100 miles offshore from the Sandy Hook-Rockaway Point Transect to the Continental Slope. Almost 240 miles of sandy shoreline, extending from Cape May, New Jersey, to Montauk Point, Long Island, form its landward border. 


Map of the New York - New Jersey Harbor Bight, which extends from Montauk to Cape May.

(Text and image courtesy of the New York-New Jersey Harbor Estuary Program