To illuminate the Hudson River at different depths, drag the orange slider on the left side of the image..

Benthic mapping charts the depth, grain size, and sub-bottom features of the river floor.

Each environment has its own distinctive inhabitants. The fish in water column (called the pelagic or nektonic layer) are constant, powerful swimmers. The burrowing animals in the sediments (known as infauna) are part of the benthic environment, along with crawling river floor dwellers (called epifauna), and the fish that live near the bottom in order to feed on these creatures. You might find that some of your favorite fish are among the bottom-feeders of the benthic layer - such as flounder (sole) and sturgeon (source of caviar). Further, despite the perjoritive use of the term "bottom feeder" these fish often contain less bioacumulative toxins such as heavy metals and PCB's than do fish such as Striped bass, bluefish, and perch which feed higher in the food chain.

The background image is an actual sidescan sonar 3-D image of the Hudson River off shore from Ossining. Move the orange sliding bar located on the left of the image to illuminate different depths.

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