The Tributary Connections Subcommittee, formed in 2011, is a Subcommittee of the Harbor & Estuary Program Restoration Work Group, comprised of technical experts from multiple federal, state, and local governmental and non-governmental organizations. The group is the primary coordinator of efforts in seeking opportunities to reestablish connections between marine and freshwater habitats and restore tributaries within the NY-NJ Harbor Estuary. Further, the Subcommittee will serve as the primary forum for stakeholder discussions, and as a source of practical information to those looking to take particular action on an area.
Restoring Tributary Connections is one of the eleven Target Ecosystem Characteristics (TEC) of the regionally developed and Harbor & Estuary Program-adopted Comprehensive Restoration Plan. Enhancing the connectivity and health of the tributaries will help to ensure the health of their aquatic communities and those of the wetlands, adjacent communities, and ecosystem services that they support. The subcommittee focuses primarily on expanding the understanding of impacts to connectivity including, but not limited to, physical barriers to fish migration and spawning ability, diversion of historic hydrologic connections, and habitat degradation or water quality barriers (e.g. low dissolved oxygen) that has altered or led to a functional loss of the connectivity that supports communities moving through the ecosystem. See more on our grants page about related projects for which, along with several partners, the Harbor & Estuary Program has also provided financial support.