Map of different species using the estuary.

Project Watershed Goes Eelgrass Planting

With the help of Biologist Lora Tryon and some keen volunteers  Project Watershed restored eelgrass in the Royston area this summer (June 2013).

Eelgrass restoration involves transplanting shoots from one healthy dense bed to an area that is void of eelgrass. Eelgrass is a little picky as it only likes to grow at certain elevations so the transplant locations must be roughly the same depth as the beds the eelgrass was harvested from. Eelgrass grows from +1 meter above zero tide to -3 meters below zero tide. Meaning that some eelgrass can be planted in the intertidal zone by volunteers on the surface and some in the subtidal zone by divers.

This planting done in June was done in the intertidal zone by volunteers on the surface. The transplanted area extended an existing bed of eelgrass. Volunteers planted bundles of 10 shoots approximately every meter out from a transect line. Over time the transplanted shoots will grow and in fill the area so that in a few years the transplanted bed will resemble the adjacent healthy bed. In fact, by the time the volunteers were finished planting small crabs and other sea creatures were already moving into the freshly planted shoots!

The planting was made possible by  funding from the Pacific Salmon Foundation and TD Friends of the Environment. Watch the slideshow below to see the transplant for your self.

estuarypw's Eelgrass Transplanting album on Photobucket
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