DV-12-05 Restoring eelgrass by planting seeds: a novel experimental method

George Kidder III
Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory
Box 35, Old Bar Harbor Road
Salisbury Cove, ME 04672
207.288.9880 x421

Eelgrass is a valued component of shallow-water estuaries that provides habitat for many species, including juvenile mussels and fish, and maintains clean water. Eelgrass beds are in decline in many areas for various and unknown reasons. In upper Frenchman Bay, eelgrass declined from 85% to less than one percent since 1996. A community-based restoration effort began in 2007.

Sea Grant funds previously supported the development of biodegradable transplant grids for eelgrass restoration.

This project sought to develop an additional method of aquatic plant restoration. Seeds were collected from local eelgrass populations and replanted near the Lamoine shoreline in 2012. Unfortunately, the area suffered an extensive eelgrass die-off at the end of the 2012 summer season, attributed to warm water temperatures and European green crabs.

Read the project report.

Sea Grant funds: $2,000