Seagrass Group Meeting, Nov.29, 2023


Seagrass Group Meeting at Cat Cove


On this beautiful sunny morning, I headed to Cat Cove Marine Lab in Salem. I had never been to the site and was excited to see what my marine ecologist friends were working on.  On this occasion Forest Shenck hosted the Seagrass Group Meeting. 

The meeting was both in- person projects and virtual to give a broader base for brainstorming ideas with scientists.  We each gave reports on seagrass projects we were involved in . Tay Evans, for example, with her new role at the Wetlands Program at MassDEP  was showing us some of the mapping technology available for monitoring seagrass. Like this Multi scale segmentation map that had lots of layers.

Jillian was also involved with mapping and showing different tools available to depict the eelgrass meadows. It sounded like the drones do a fascinating job at accuracy when compared with actual dives. This map of Duxbury Bay below is fascinating since I have spent the last 3 summers volunteering on the ground level with data collection. Yes we are seeing a lot of seagrass loss. Forest also reported on  his restoration sites in the North Shore which were also not productive. The seagrass had not stayed or came back. The ongoing  questions to why the loss, the huge amount of variables from rise of blue crabs, to location, timing,  rising of water temps, water eutrophication and more. 

Jillian was also excited with her research on seedlings at Virgina Institute of Marine Science . VIMS has worlds largest eelgrass restoration site with more than 6,000 acres of new eelgrass grown.. Jillian shared her findings with us,  and plans on using them as a basis for Massachusetts seedlings projects in the future. Super exciting!

Diana chin from MassBays Metro Regional Coordinator is working on coastal resilience projects in and around the Boston area. 

 Our team at the Center for Student Coastal Research (CSCR) also reported a drastic loss on eelgrass beds in Cohasset Harbor. Water quality reports especially with bacteria counts in the Gulf River outflow. 

There were a lot of interesting discussions from our online participants reporting on warming waters, and changing chemical make up of the water. I reported on my next years project- Coastal Shorelines in Long Island.  I also volunteered to do more research with Tay on Living Shorelines!

Alison Fry from the Salem Sound Coastwatch works on marshland conservation and suggested I go take a look at their Living Shorelines they implemented at Collins Cove. I was super excited that we have samples of Living Shorelines, that I forgot to ask exactly where it was, so more on Alisons project next year!