NEW YORK (October 30, 2017) – A new map produced by Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)’s New York Aquarium and the National Geographic Partners has been recognized by the prestigious British Cartographic Society (BCS) for successfully conveying the oceanographic complexity and wealth of marine life found in New York Bight.


The “New York Seascape” map was commended at the 2017 BCS Awards, an internationally recognized event held at the organization’s annual symposium. The society is a consortium of organizations and individuals committed to exploring and producing maps from around the world.


“We’re thrilled to receive the distinction of honorable mention from the British Cartographic Society, as it validates our efforts to effectively introduce audiences in our New York region and beyond to the amazing biodiversity here in the New York Bight and underscores the importance of ocean planning to ensure a safe place for this wildlife among the many human uses of our increasingly busy waters,” said Dr. Merry Camhi, Director of WCS’s New York Seascape Program.


The “New York Seascape” map features the multi-dimensional marine environment of New York Bight, a 16,000-square-mile body of water found between Long Island’s Montauk Point and New Jersey’s Cape May. New York Bight contains some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, yet also contains great biodiversity in the form of sharks, sea turtles, seals, whales, and many other species. The two-sided map presents complex information on both the ecological wonders, as well as the many human uses of our coastal and offshore waters including fishing, diving and other recreation, wind energy development, transportation, telecommunications, defense, and more. It features satellite tracks and acoustic monitoring of species that seasonally migrate through the seascape based on research being conducted by WCS and other scientists.


The map also highlights the work of the New York Seascape program, WCS’s local marine conservation initiative that conducts research on New York Bight’s marine life, including whales, sharks, and other species. Further, the program works with partners to monitor and restore populations of alewife herring and American eels in the Bronx River, the only freshwater river in New York City.


The “New York Seascape” map is being freely distributed to teachers, nature enthusiasts, community organizations, and government agencies in an effort to raise public awareness of the region’s rich marine wildlife and the ecological needs of these species, all of which exist in a context of heavy commercial activity. The map will also be given to visitors at the opening of the Ocean Wonders: Sharks, a new 57,000-square-foot exhibit scheduled to open at WCS’s New York Aquarium at Coney Island in the summer of 2018.


“It is particularly gratifying that the BCS recognized both the technical and artistic merits of this beautiful map,” said Jon Forrest Dohlin, WCS Vice President and Director of the New York Aquarium.  “Our ‘New York Seascape’ map is helping residents of the New York area, many of whom are getting to know these amazing waters for the first time, understand the richness of our local seascape”


For a PDF of the map, click here. Hard copies of the map are available upon request, and upon request at NYA admissions counter.