Eelgrass Transplant. UNH. Mass Bays Research and Planning Grant 2013.
Eelgrass meadows are both ecologically and economically valuable to coastal waters and have become the focus of many resource management initiatives in Massachusetts. Since Plum Island Sound historically harbored an abundance of eelgrass meadows the University of New Hampshire (UNH) developed an Eelgrass Habitat Suitability Model, funded by the Mass Bays 2012 Research and Planning Grant Program. The eelgrass habitat suitability model identified areas within Plum Island Sound with good potential for eelgrass restoration. In 2013, Mass Bays again funded UNH but this time the project will go the next step and perform test-transplants at the most suitable sites in Plum Island Sound. The project will use genetically different eelgrass donor populations to determine which will fair the best. This project fits in well as part of an ongoing endeavor to bring eelgrass back to Massachusetts waters and provide managers with vital information on donor populations for successful restoration efforts.