A "Bite" of the Big Apple

This web site is a collection of short reports and image libraries about the natural history of the New York Bight region. The goal of this project is to provide basic information about the beaches scattered throughout the New York Bight, emphasizing those within Gateway National Recreation Area (New York and New Jersey). Each web page linked to this report carries a theme related to the topics listed below. The web pages can be followed in a chronological order by clicking on the NEXT PAGE web link on the bottom of each page. But first...

Check out the "new stuff..."

A Brief Geologic History of Raritan Bay.

"Lost Culture..."

A bight is a general term for a bend or curve in the shoreline of an open coast. In the New York region it refers to the great expanse of shallow ocean between Long Island (to the north and east) and the New Jersey Coast (to the south and west). Because Long Island trends generally east to west in relation to mainland of New Jersey it creates a great right angle in the general geometry of the Atlantic coastline. The Hudson River's outer harbor and the Raritan Bay (shown in the image above) constitute only a fraction of the greater New York Bight region.

1) INTRODUCTION to the physiography and geologic history of the New York Bight region. Links include:

2) Dynamic geologic processes that control the development of modern coastal landforms.

3) Image libraries of "modern" SHELLS and other SEASHORE CREATURES that occur on area beaches.

4) PALEONTOLOGY of area beaches and significance of fossils in interpreting geologic history.


6) An INFORMATION GUIDE to further reading and research on the greater New York Bight region.

7) A TEACHER'S GUIDE is included to provide suggestions and tips for planning for field trip activities to area beaches related to the information in this report.

8)NEW! 50 of our favorite places to spend the day enjoying hiking, studying geology and nature in both rural and urban settings, all within a day's drive of NYC. Features include: The Empire State Building: Pyramid Mountain and Tripod Rock, NJ; Fluorescent Minerals of Franklin and Ogdensburg Area, NJ; Cheesequake State Park, NJ; and much more!


This website will really get you surfing the "BIGHT" fast!


"A work in progress..."

Writers and Webmeisters:

Phil Stoffer and Paula Messina

CUNY, Earth & Environmental Science, Ph.D. Program
Hunter College, Department of Geography
Brooklyn College, Department of Geology

In cooperation with
Gateway National Recreational Area
U.S. National Park Service

Copyright September, 1996 (All rights reserved; use as an educational resource encouraged.)