What is Eelgrass?
Eelgrass is a type of submerged aquatic vegetation (referred to as SAV) that grows in estuaries and shallow bays. Eelgrass in not a seaweed - it is a perennial flowering plant.
Eelgrass grows both by vegetative growth and by seed germination. Most growth of eelgrass in the Pacific Northwest is vegetative. There are two species of eelgrass in the Pacific Northwest: Zostera marina (native species) and Zostera japonica (exotic species).
Interest in mapping of eelgrass on the Sunshine Coast began in 2001. At that time there was a definite interest in mapping the accuracy of current features of the Sunshine Coast. Dianne Sanford took on the project along with the Sunshine Coast Regional District and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. View the resulting Eelgrass Mapping Report
. In February of 2014 Dianne provided a power point presentation to Council on the topic. View the power point here
Additional Resources to help you better understand the world of Eelgrass:
View the Ocean Discovery Centre documentary, Salish Sea Oceancast.
U.S. Geological Survey information about the Future of Pacific Northwest Seagrasses in a Changing Climate here: http://soundwaves.usgs.gov/2013/04/meetings.html
The UNEP rapid response assessment: Blue Carbon – The Role of Healthy Oceans in Binding Carbon”
The Province, Vancouver Island University and Comox Valley Project Watershed Society have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and identified opportunities – starting in the Comox Valley – for these blue carbon projects in B.C – read more: http://projectwatershed.ca/unlocking-coastal-bcs-blue-carbon-opportunities/
David Suzuki Foundation – Nearshore Natural Capital Valuation
What is Eelgrass, read the Eelgrass Fact Sheet