* the understanding of circulation and stratification of the Long Island Sound and their relationship to water quality and the development of hypoxia (i.e. low oxygen) in the Sound,
* the development of a historical record of climate forcing (e.g., global warming) for the Long Island Sound spanning nearly 100 years,
* the role each of the above may have played in the periodic poor-yield Lobster years, of which 1999 was catastrophic to the local fishing community.
* determining the relative contributions to circulation and stratification variability in the Sound from synoptic weather events and low-frequency climate variability,
Moreover, it provides the project's partners the needed observational platform to:
* develop and validate a state-of-the-art coastal modeling and observation system for the Long Island Sound,
* contribute sorely needed observational resources to the National Weather Service which has no means to obtain over-water observations of the Long Island Sound.
The agreement and funding also provide for the installation of an educational system to be deployed on the ferry which will display and describe the data being collected to the passengers (~250,000/year) and educate the audience on the pertinent environmental issues being addressed by the project. In addition, there will be a web site developed to provide the data, both the real-time and archived data, to the community so that other researchers and educators can take advantage of this tremendous opportunity. This presentation will describe the above observing system and the progress of the above research.