New York Field Office
Northeast Region

Through a series of laws created over the last century, Americans have declared that we need to collectively protect landscapes, fish, wildlife, and plants.
Several agencies in the federal government put our country's conservation laws into action, and the Ecological Services Program of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service helps lead the way.

We administer the Endangered Species Act, working with experts in the scientific community to identify species on the verge of extinction and to build the road to recovery to bring them back. We work with our partners in federal and state agencies, tribes, local governments, the business community, and private citizens to help protect important habitat, and help increase species' populations and reduce the threats to their survival so that they can be removed from federal protection.
We provide guidance and expertise to avoid and minimize impacts to wildlife for projects such as wind farms and large scale transportation developments meeting our society's growing energy and transportation needs. Our environmental contaminant specialists review project plans, licenses, and even proposed laws and regulations, to avoid or minimize harmful effects on wildlife and habitats. In cases of significant releases of hazardous waste, they work in the field to pinpoint sources of pollution and investigate effects, using this data to secure compensation for lost or damaged wildlife and habitat.

When we protect species and habitats, we conserve the natural resources on which we all depend. We ensure that wetlands persist to protect us from storms and filter our water. We conserve for future generations a continued source of land. Wild things and wild places are part of our shared history. They are part of the natural foundation of the lands we call home.

 

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Current Issues

7/19/19 See our new Podcasts page!


4/12/19 Available now! Upper Susquehanna River Basin Study Fish & Wildlife Coordination Act Report - Comprehensive Flood Damage Reduction Study (4 MB PDF)


4/8/19 Check out our new 2018 Chittenango ovate amber snail educational booklet! Designed in conjunction with SUNY ESF, Rosamond Gifford Zoo and other dedicated partners.


3/19/19 New York Field Office Hosts 9th Annual Upper Susquehanna Conservation Alliance Meeting

The New York Field Office hosted the 9th annual Upper Susquehanna Conservation Alliance Meeting with conservationists representing 65 organizations. The gathering kicked off with a presentation from Congressman Anthony Brindisi of New York’s 24th Congressional District, as he invited the attendees to collaborate with his office on conservation planning. The event also included small group break-out sessions and presentations on recent accomplishments, such as the completion of the Service’s report to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Baltimore District and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation on environmentally restorative flood management techniques, the protection of more than 400 acres of public land, the completion of 8 projects for Eastern Brook Trout, and the opening of 2.5 miles of stream for aquatic connectivity.

David Stilwell speaking in front of Anthony Brindisi


11/26/2018 Restoration for the Onondaga Lake Natural Resource Damage Assessment is well underway. For more information go here.

Backhoe in action on Onondaga Lake


10/11/2018 First Recorded Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle Hatchlings in New York State

In Queens, NY, an adult Kemp’s ridley sea turtle was observed in July 2018 depositing eggs on West Beach on the Rockaway Peninsula located within the Gateway National Recreation Area, National Park Service (NPS).  This is the first recorded case of a Kemp’s ridley, which primarily nests in the Gulf of Mexico and southeast United States, nesting and depositing eggs in New York State. During the week of September 24, ninety-six hatchlings from this nest crawled out to sea.

Kemp's ridley sea turtle hatchlings

Photo: Steve Sinkevich, USFWS 2018

Kemp’s ridley is the smallest of all sea turtles and critically endangered. It was listed in the United States as endangered throughout its range in 1970.  The Service assisted, coordinated and consulted with the NPS along with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation.


12/8/2017 Notice of Intent to prepare a draft Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment for the Buffalo River, Buffalo, New York; request for restoration project suggestions 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Tuscarora Nation, and the State of New York Department of Environmental Conservation (collectively the Trustees) are issuing this notice of intent to prepare a draft Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment for Buffalo River natural resource restoration pursuant to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) and Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration (NRDAR) regulations. The Trustees are requesting public input in identifying specific restoration project ideas to assist the Trustees in the development of the draft Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment for the Buffalo River, in Buffalo, New York.  In addition to ideas for feasible restoration projects, the draft Restoration Plan will provide criteria and guidance for the Trustees to use in the selection of feasible natural resource restoration projects; it will also identify and evaluate the environmental impacts associated with restoration actions that may be implemented.  More information on the Buffalo River NRDAR, this notice, and the draft Restoration Plan can be found at: https://www.fws.gov/northeast/nyfo/ec/buffalo.htm  


9/15/2017 Snail survey & release fuels the media! On September 13th, we moved the Chittenango ovate amber snail closer to recovery by releasing 20 captive individuals to the wild.  SUNY ESF technician Cody Gilbertson, has been rearing the snails for 8 months before their release.  The project is funded by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

Chittenango Ovate Amber Snail close-up

Photo credit: Justin Dalaba, USFWS


Video: Near-Extinct Snail Coaxed into Reproduction at ESF

Biologists searching snail habitat

Photo credit: Justin Dalaba, USFWS


7/17/2017 Service Provides 1 Million to States to Combat Bat-Killing Fungal Disease: the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced over $1 million in grants to 37 states and the District of Columbia to help combat white-nose syndrome (WNS), a fungal disease that has killed millions of North American bats in recent years. Funds will help states find ways to prevent the spread of WNS while increasing survival rates of afflicted species.

The full press release can be viewed here.


6/8/2017 Annual Lake Sturgeon Egg Take: With supportive funding from the Fish Enhancement, Mitigation, and Research Fund, a partnership effort between the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the New York Power Authority, aims to recover sturgeon populations within the St. Lawrence River. A crew of NYFO biologists helped with the annual lake sturgeon egg take on the St. Lawrence River. The eggs collected and raised at the Genoa National Fish Hatchery in Wisconsin and the Oneida Lake Fish Cultural Station in New York to be stocked as fall fingerlings.

See the New York Time's story.

Collecting Sturgeon eggs

Photo credit: Justin Dalaba, USFWS


3/7/2017 Notice of Final Settlement with Atlantic Richfield Company for Natural Resource Damages at the Sinclair Refinery Superfund Site: Located in Allegany County, New York under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act. The Settlement Agreement was finalized on February 28, 2017. The Natural Resource Trustees (USFWS and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation) will use $264,500 of the $273,500 settlement to fund projects to restore, rehabilitate, replace, and/or acquire the equivalent of the natural resources injured at the Site. This includes the costs of restoration planning and oversight activities.

More information about the Superfund Site and Settlement can be found at: https://www.fws.gov/northeast/nyfo/ec/nrda.htm


1/27/2017 New Biological Technical Publication - Contaminants of Emerging Concern in the Great Lakes Basin: A Report on Sediment, Water, and Fish Tissue Chemistry Collected in 2010-2012: The report summarizes sediment and water chemistry data collected from 2010 to 2012 and fish liver tissue chemistry data collected in 2012; characterizes the sampling locations with respect to potential sources of contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) in the landscape; and provides an initial interpretation of the variation in CEC concentrations relative to the identified sources. 

The Biological Technical Report can be found at: https://digitalmedia.fws.gov/cdm/ref/collection/document/id/2181

More information about the CEC Project can be found at: https://www.fws.gov/northeast/nyfo/ec/glri.htm


 

 

 

4/11/19 Visit the New Frosted Elfin Website!


4/2/2019 Missouri Population of Eastern Hellbender Proposed for Endangered Status - Other populations in decline but not currently warranting Endangered Species Act protection.

After conducting a thorough species status review, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has determined that most populations of the eastern hellbender are not in danger of extinction and do not warrant listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). However, the eastern hellbender population in Missouri is a distinct population segment (DPS) and the Service is proposing to list this DPS as endangered.

News release

Website

Federal Register Notice


2/15/2019 Annual Fire & Ice Festival a Success!

Fire plume from fire & ice festival

Numerous members of the New York Field Office partnered with the Ithaca Children’s Garden to host the annual Festival of Fire and Ice. NYFO employees moved snow into a giant pile for the children to play on, tended the three bonfires and kept the onlookers safe, and helped all throughout the event. More than 600 children and families from the urban Ithaca community participated in the event, which celebrates the importance of getting out into nature in winter. Thanks to this ongoing partnership between the Ithaca Children’s Garden and the New York Field Office, children were able to play in the snow and ice, watch the fire and fire dancers, and enjoy hot chocolate, smores and many other outdoor activities in the below-freezing weather.


Kids playing on large snowpile


11/6/2018 Neonicotinoid Pesticides in NY/PA streams report:

Biologist sampling for neonecotinoids in a river

You may have heard about a new type of pesticide called neonicotinoids. They are increasingly being used to treat our crops, including crop seeds before they are planted. They end up in farm soil, in wild plants growing near crop fields and in our streams. We found neonicotinoids in almost half of the streams we sampled in New York and Pennsylvania. In two New York streams, neonicotinoids were present at concentrations that could reduce the abundance of beneficial stream insects like mayflies. In one Pennsylvania stream, we found these pesticides in freshwater mussels and in one New York stream, we found them in crayfish. There is also preliminary evidence that neonicotinoids in crops or wild plants may impair the growth and development of butterflies, some of the very insects we need to pollinate our crops.

A report is available here (1MB pdf).


6/7/2018 Aquatic Connectivity in the Genesee River
 
New York Field Office Partners for Fish and Wildlife staff gave a presentation to the Town of Caneadea members, local farmers, the Genesee RiverWatch, and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) on stream restoration practices focusing on adding large trees with intact root wads to stabilize stream banks (instead of rock or rip rap). 

Genesee River bank

After the presentation, NYFO staff visited the site of four eroding streambanks near the Towns of Caneadea and Angelica.  The restoration of eroding streambanks is a preferred restoration option within the Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration Draft Restoration Plan for the Genesee River.  The goal is to finalize the Restoration Plan for the Genesee River and request project proposals in 2018 and select projects for funding and begin restoration project implementation in 2019.


10/4/2017 Service Finds Migratory Songbird Does Not Warrant Endangered Species Act Protection

The Bicknell’s thrush, a migratory songbird that summers in the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada, does not warrant listing under the Endangered Species Act. Although the agency expects the species to face some range-wide losses in its forested habitat, a review completed earlier this summer suggests that populations are likely to persist through the foreseeable future.The Service found that temperature and precipitation patterns are changing, and deforestation is expected to continue, but these threats are not likely to place the Bicknell’s thrush in danger of extinction within the foreseeable future, considered for this decision to be the next 30 years.

More information - https://www.fws.gov/northeast/bicknellsthrush/


5/16/2017 Questions and Answers Regarding Habitat and Beach Management at Smith Point County Park, Suffolk County, New York: Recently there have been several statements and inquiries made regarding our involvement in Smith Point County Park vegetation and off-road vehicle management as outlined in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Fire Island Inlet to Moriches Inlet Stabilization Project. As a result, we are providing clarity regarding our role.

Questions and answers can be viewed here.


4/24/2017 Officials Propose Projects for Restoring Wildlife Habitat and Recreation on Onondaga Lake: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) are considering a series of projects to restore and protect wildlife habitat and water quality and increase recreational opportunities at Onondaga Lake. The draft restoration plan and environmental assessment has been released for public comment through July 17th, 2017.

For more info, see: https://www.fws.gov/northeast/nyfo/ec/onondaga.htm

Biologist in boat with binoculars


1/12/2017 Notice of Availability for Public Comment - Proposed Settlement with Atlantic Richfield Company for Natural Resource Damages at the Sinclair Refinery Superfund Site: Located in Allegany County, New York under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act.

The Federal Register Notice can be found at: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/01/11/2017-00416/proposed-settlement-agreement-under-environmental-protection-statutes

More information about the Superfund Site and Settlement can be found at: https://www.fws.gov/northeast/nyfo/ec/nrda.htm


 

See our other updates at the Newsroom!

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.

Last updated: July 19, 2019
All images by FWS unless otherwise noted.