Abstract Title

Session S-07E: Aquatic Vegetation

Proposed Abstract Title

Eelgrass Restoration in the Squamish Estuary

Presenter/Author Information

Edith TobeFollow

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) was historically present in the Squamish Estuary and Squamish Nation has anecdotal knowledge of it's presence. However, from the early 1900's to the early 21st century logging, urban development, and industry heavily impacted eelgrass beds. From 2003 to the present local conservation groups have been working to restore eelgrass beds to the Squamish Estuary and upper Howe Sound and work to establish protection around this important habitat. The eelgrass restoration project in the Squamish Estuary is the result of partnerships between non-profit organizations, First Nations, Municipalities, and various levels of government, business, and industry. The result of reestablishing these eelgrass beds has not just been one of ecological importance but also a socio-economic benefit including a gathering point for community pride. Local elementary school students learn about eelgrass, it's ecology and importance; community volunteers participate in eelgrass transplants and learn first hand about the sub-tidal ecosystem; First Nations benefit from the ecological diversity that enhances the fisheries including herring, salmon, char and other species; and the business and industrial communities help to map and enhance the shorelines in order to better protect eelgrass and the stability it provides to the foreshore. The Squamish River Watershed Society became one of many partners to the Seagrass Conservation Working Group back in 2001 and has been working hard ever since to restore, educate, map and monitor eelgrass. Eelgrass has, in many ways, become an icon to what local community groups can accomplish through outreach, networking, and partnerships.

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

Eelgrass Restoration in the Squamish Estuary

Room 6C

Eelgrass (Zostera marina) was historically present in the Squamish Estuary and Squamish Nation has anecdotal knowledge of it's presence. However, from the early 1900's to the early 21st century logging, urban development, and industry heavily impacted eelgrass beds. From 2003 to the present local conservation groups have been working to restore eelgrass beds to the Squamish Estuary and upper Howe Sound and work to establish protection around this important habitat. The eelgrass restoration project in the Squamish Estuary is the result of partnerships between non-profit organizations, First Nations, Municipalities, and various levels of government, business, and industry. The result of reestablishing these eelgrass beds has not just been one of ecological importance but also a socio-economic benefit including a gathering point for community pride. Local elementary school students learn about eelgrass, it's ecology and importance; community volunteers participate in eelgrass transplants and learn first hand about the sub-tidal ecosystem; First Nations benefit from the ecological diversity that enhances the fisheries including herring, salmon, char and other species; and the business and industrial communities help to map and enhance the shorelines in order to better protect eelgrass and the stability it provides to the foreshore. The Squamish River Watershed Society became one of many partners to the Seagrass Conservation Working Group back in 2001 and has been working hard ever since to restore, educate, map and monitor eelgrass. Eelgrass has, in many ways, become an icon to what local community groups can accomplish through outreach, networking, and partnerships.