Environmental Management

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 45–52 | Cite as

Effects of off-road vehicles on coastal foredunes at Fire Island, New York, USA

  • Fred J. Anders
  • Stephen P. Leatherman
Research

Abstract

The effects of off-road vehicles (ORVs) on the dune system of Fire Island National Seashore, New York, USA, were examined through a detailed, two-year field study. The experimental approach was adopted in order to evaluate the environmental effects of ORVs in this zone. Adjacent control and impact sites were established in two locations. Vehicle impacts were applied at the equivalent rate of one vehicle pass per week. Monitoring of foredune vegetation through sequential quadrat surveys and construction of sea-ward limit maps showed a significant loss of vegetation resulting from ORV impacting. Loss of vegetation resulted in an alteration of the natural foredune profile, which could increase dune erosion during storm wave attack.

Key words

Off-road vehicles Foredunes Beach grass Dune erosion Fire Island 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Literature cited

  1. Anders, F. J., and S. P. Leatherman. 1981. The effects of off-road vehicles on beach and dune systems, Fire Island National Seashore. Report 60, University of Massachusetts, National Park Service Cooperative Research Unit, Amherst, 176 pp.Google Scholar
  2. Baldwin, M. F., and D. H. Stoddard, Jr. 1973. The off-road vehicle and environmental quality. Conservation Foundation, Washington, DC, 61 pp.Google Scholar
  3. Behrens, E. W., R. L. Watson, P. D. Carangelo, W. H. Sohl, and H. S. Finkelstein. 1975. Effect of vehicular and pedestrian traffic on backshore vegetation and dune development: beach impact study, Padre Island National Seashore. Final report for Office of Natural Science, Southwest Region, National Park Service, 50 pp.Google Scholar
  4. Brodhead, J. M. B., and P.J. Godfrey. 1978. The effects of off-road vehicles on coastal dune vegetation in the Province Lands, Cape Cod National Seashore. Report 32, University of Massachusetts, National Park Service Cooperative Research Unit, Amherst, 212 pp.Google Scholar
  5. Carter, J. 1977. Executive order 11989: off-road vehicles on public lands.Federal Register 42(101), 2 pp.Google Scholar
  6. Griggs, G. B., and B. L. Walsh. 1981. The impact, control, and mitigation of off-road vehicle activity in Hungry Valley, California.Environmental Geology 3:229–243.Google Scholar
  7. Hosier, P. E., and T. E. Eaton. 1980. The impact of vehicles on dune and grassland vegetation on a south-eastern North Carolina barrier beach.Journal of Applied Ecology 17:173–182.Google Scholar
  8. Leatherman, S. P. 1982. Barrier island handbook. University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, 109 pp.Google Scholar
  9. Leatherman, S. P. 1983. Barrier dynamics and landward migration with Holocene sea-level rise.Nature 301:415–418.Google Scholar
  10. Leatherman, S. P., and P. G. Godfrey. 1980. The impact of off-road vehicles on coastal ecosystems in Cape Cod National Seashore: an overview. Report 34, University of Massachusetts, National Park Service Cooperative Research Unit, Amherst, 34 pp.Google Scholar
  11. Liddle, M.J., and P. Greig-Smith. 1975. A survey of trades and paths in a sand dune ecosystem. II. Vegetation.Journal of Applied Ecology 12:909–930.Google Scholar
  12. McAtee, J. W. 1975. Human impact on the vegetation and microclimate on the beach and foredunes of Padre Island National Seashore. MS thesis, Texas A & I University, Kingsville, Texas, 96 pp.Google Scholar
  13. Nixon, R. M. 1972. Executive order 11644: use of off-road vehicles on public lands.Federal Register 37(27).Google Scholar
  14. Steiner, A.J., and S. P. Leatherman. 1979. A preliminary study of the environmental effects of recreational usage on dune and beach ecosystems of Assateague Islands. Report 44, University of Massachusetts, National Park Service Cooperative Research Unit, Amherst, 101 pp.Google Scholar
  15. US Army Corps of Engineers. 1984. Shore protection manual, vols. I and II, 4th edn. US Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station, CERC, USEPO, Washington, DC, 1222 pp.Google Scholar
  16. Wilshire, H. G., J. K. Nakata, S. Shipley, and K. Prestegaard. 1978. Vehicle impacts on natural terrain at seven sites in the San Francisco Bay area.Environmental Geology 2:295–319.Google Scholar
  17. Zaremba, R., and S. P. Leatherman. 1984. Overwash processes and foredune ecology. Nauset Spit, Massachusetts, CERC Miscellaneous Paper EL-84-8, 232 pp.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fred J. Anders
    • 1
  • Stephen P. Leatherman
    • 2
  1. 1.Coastal Engineering Research CenterUS Army Corps of Engineers Waterways Experiment StationVicksburgUSA
  2. 2.Department of GeographyUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA

Personalised recommendations