Abstract Title

Session S-07E: Aquatic Vegetation

Proposed Abstract Title

Eelgrass (Zostera marina) Restoration on Bainbridge Island: Habitat Creation, Experimental Reintroduction, and Best Practices at the Old Milwaukee Dock Site

Presenter/Author Information

John VavrinecFollow

Keywords

Habitat

Location

Room 6C

Start Date

1-5-2014 5:00 PM

End Date

1-5-2014 6:30 PM

Description

Eelgrass (Zostera marina) is considered essential habitat in the Salish Sea nearshore ecosystem, and the Puget Sound Partnership has recommended that eelgrass abundance be increased at least 20% by the year 2020. However, restoring eelgrass is often difficult, and the outcome is rarely guaranteed due to a complex environment and numerous anthropogenic stressors. Frequently, restoration cannot even begin until these stressors are understood and reduced, or appropriate habitat has been created, to support eelgrass populations. In central Puget Sound, the Elliott Bay Trustee Council is supporting a project, guided by a collaborative team that includes federal, state, and tribal researchers, to restore eelgrass on Bainbridge Island off the old Milwaukee Dock site. This work is attempting to create eelgrass habitat by filling in the dredged depressions before restoration. The subsequent reintroduction of the eelgrass to the new substrate is being conducted in an array of experimental plots to evaluate seasonality, differences in donor stock, and planting methodology. While the overall goal of the project is to increase eelgrass in the area, the intent of this aggressive experimental design is to advance the science of eelgrass restoration and improve the techniques used in the Salish Sea.

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May 1st, 5:00 PM May 1st, 6:30 PM

Eelgrass (Zostera marina) Restoration on Bainbridge Island: Habitat Creation, Experimental Reintroduction, and Best Practices at the Old Milwaukee Dock Site

Room 6C

Eelgrass (Zostera marina) is considered essential habitat in the Salish Sea nearshore ecosystem, and the Puget Sound Partnership has recommended that eelgrass abundance be increased at least 20% by the year 2020. However, restoring eelgrass is often difficult, and the outcome is rarely guaranteed due to a complex environment and numerous anthropogenic stressors. Frequently, restoration cannot even begin until these stressors are understood and reduced, or appropriate habitat has been created, to support eelgrass populations. In central Puget Sound, the Elliott Bay Trustee Council is supporting a project, guided by a collaborative team that includes federal, state, and tribal researchers, to restore eelgrass on Bainbridge Island off the old Milwaukee Dock site. This work is attempting to create eelgrass habitat by filling in the dredged depressions before restoration. The subsequent reintroduction of the eelgrass to the new substrate is being conducted in an array of experimental plots to evaluate seasonality, differences in donor stock, and planting methodology. While the overall goal of the project is to increase eelgrass in the area, the intent of this aggressive experimental design is to advance the science of eelgrass restoration and improve the techniques used in the Salish Sea.