Community
Water Quality of the Long Island Sound

Using the charts: Items in the legend below the chart can be clicked on and off to aid in analysis. The chart can also be printed or exported as an image or document using the menu at the top right of the chart. See a Guide to the Westchester Index Website for more information.





Source: Save the Sound

What does this measure?

Save the Sound, an organization dedicated to improving the land, air and water of Connecticut and Long Island Sound, develops and releases a report card every two years on the ecological health of the Sound. The report card includes water quality scores (0-100%) for sub-regions of the Sound. Westchester County is part of the Eastern Narrows sub-region and thus plays an important part in shaping its ecological health. Scores are based on scientifically derived scales that rely on multiple data points, including dissolved organic carbon, dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll a and water clarity. For more information, visit www.savethesound.org/report-card or www.soundhealthexplorer.org .

Why is this important?

Local conditions, stormwater and wastewater infrastructure, development patterns and land use play a critical part in shaping the Sound's ecological health. Water quality in the Eastern Narrows is in part a reflection of conditions in adjacent communities, including those in Westchester County. Regular scientific monitoring can be a tool to empower communities to make decisions that better protect water quality in Long Island Sound.

How is Westchester County performing?

In 2020, the Eastern Narrows sub-region of Long Island Sound received a score of 74%, or a grade of C on a scale from A-F. This was down slightly from 2018 (82% or B-) but similar to 2016 (70% or C-). The lower grade was mainly due to worsening chlorophyll a, a measure of microalgae growth in the Sound, along with fluctuating weather conditions, according to the report card. Save the Sound also assigns a rating of Improving, Stable, Variable or Declining to each sub-region based on its scores over a 12-year period; the Eastern Narrows trend in 2020 was lowered from Stable to Variable.

Sub-region scores in 2020 were poorest on the western end of the Sound (the Western Narrows, at 44% or F) and highest on the eastern end (the Eastern Basin, at 99% or A+). That pattern has been consistent in recent years. This mainly is due to lower tidal exchange and higher population density on the western end of the Sound, according to the report card. Overall, investments in conservation and wastewater treatment have improved water quality in the Sound over the past decade, per the report card, which also recommends reducing nitrogen pollution and stormwater runoff in the future.

Notes about the data

Save the Sound releases its reports on the ecological health of Long Island Sound every two years. The next release is expected in 2022. To learn more about scoring methodology, visit http://www.soundhealthexplorer.org/fishable/.

Water Quality Grades by Sub-Region of Long Island Sound
201620182020
Central Basin88%96%95%
Eastern Basin92%100%99%
Eastern Narrows70%82%74%
Western Basin83%92%86%
Western Narrows51%45%44%

Source: Save the Sound
Notes: Grades calculated by Save the Sound. For more information, visit https://www.savethesound.org/report-card.








INDICATORS TREND | WESTCHESTER
Early Prenatal Care, by Mother's Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Infant Mortality Rate, by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Children with Elevated Blood Lead Levels 0
Maintaining
Children Receiving Subsidized Child Care -1
Decreasing
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Disengaged Youth, Ages 16 to 19 -1
Decreasing
Single-Parent Families, by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Single Female-Headed Households 0
Maintaining
Contributions as a Percentage of Income 0
Maintaining
Voter Registration Rate 1
Increasing
Voter Participation Rate 1
Increasing
Serious Crimes -1
Decreasing
Victims of Domestic Violence -1
Decreasing
Arrest Rates, by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Households With Internet Access, by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Households without Vehicles -1
Decreasing
Means of Transportation to Work, by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Air Quality 1
Increasing
Population Density 0
Maintaining
Water Quality of the Long Island Sound 1
Increasing
Open Space in Westchester County 1
Increasing
Change in Total Population 1
Increasing
Change in Population, by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Change in Population, by Age -1
Decreasing
People with Disabilities 1
Increasing
Language Diversity 1
Increasing
People 65 or Older Living Alone 1
Increasing
Change in Total Jobs -1
Decreasing
Change in Jobs by Sector 10 Not Applicable*
Business Ownership, by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Average Salary by Sector 10 Not Applicable*
Median Household Income, by Race/Ethnicity 0
Maintaining
Female to Male Earnings Ratio 0
Maintaining
Unemployment Rate, by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
People Living in Poverty -1
Decreasing
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity 0
Maintaining
Seniors Living in Poverty 0
Maintaining
Seniors Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Food Insecurity -1
Decreasing
Households Receiving SNAP, by Race/Ethnicity 0
Maintaining
Public Assistance 0
Maintaining
People Receiving Supplemental Security Income 1
Increasing
Homeownership Rate, by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Cost of Homeownership, by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Overall Housing Cost Burden -1
Decreasing
Cost of Rent, by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Rent Burdened Households -1
Decreasing
Homelessness, by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Homelessness, by Sex 10 Not Applicable*
Per-Student Spending 0
Maintaining
Student Suspensions -1
Decreasing
Student Performance on Grade 3 English, by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
High School Cohort Graduation Rate, by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
College Admission Rate, by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
College Enrollment Rate, by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
People Without Health Insurance -1
Decreasing
Mortality Rate, by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Mortality Rate from Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease, by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Diabetes Mortality, by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Suicide Rates, by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*


Loading...