Since the reestablishment of colonial waterbirds in the estuary, much progress has been made towards the conservation of the Harbor Herons. The conservation effort has grown into a multi-organization, multidisciplinary, collaborative initiative consisting of habitat conservation and restoration, public outreach and education, and scientific research. The Harbor Herons Working Group was created to coordinate these projects, and serves as the nexus for Harbor Heron conservation efforts. The Harbor Herons Subcommittee has prepared Conservation Plans in response to the need for a detailed report on the status of the Harbor Herons in the New York/New Jersey Harbor region and hosts an annual meeting.
The goals of the committee are:
- To incorporate management actions within the Conservation Area to support an enduring and healthy breeding population of wading birds
- To foster communication among stakeholders in order to encourage best management practices that will support the wading bird colony as well as integrate the Harbor Estuary multiuse objectives;
- To develop a robust education component targeted to stakeholders, managers, and the public, emphasizing the importance of and encouraging ownership of this unique heronry and its associated foraging areas;
- To improve the protection and health of the overall foraging area habitat;
- To establish inventory, monitoring, and research programs to address the gaps in information on non-target wildlife species in order to measure the success of management actions and investigate questions regarding management of both target and non-target wildlife species.