From the Havre de Grace Maritime Museum:
The Environmental Center at the Havre de Grace Maritime Museum, Inc. is participating under contract in an ongoing project to assess the health of SAVs in the Upper Chesapeake Bay. The work will advance an important goal of the Chesapeake Bay Agreement that is monitoring the recovery of SAV grasses throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
SAVs are a valuable food source for wildlife and important for the health of the Bay. They also provide prime nursery areas, habitat, remove pollutants, and oxygenate the water.
The Environmental Center will develop and implement a regional SAV monitoring program that will collect grass diversity, abundance, and distribution data, as well as data on forage (vertebrate and invertebrate) associated with this and other tributary habitats. The target location is the Susquehanna Flats and surrounding areas which encompasses 8600 acres of SAV. Data will be collected three times during the summer; once in early summer, once during peak biomass, and once at the end of the growing season from 40 randomly generated global positioned data collection points. This is the pilot year of the study but the idea is to continue it for many years in the future.
With the assistance of the Environmental Center volunteer team members, the vast density of SAV grasses in the Susquehanna Flats will be successfully monitored and documented. Training sessions will occur next month to familiarize participating volunteers with species identification and monitoring techniques. This project is primarily based on the success of citizen science which allows anyone with adequate training and resources to be involved and contribute to scientific data.
The Environmental Center is excited to be participating in this project and eager to educate residents about the value of SAV grasses located among the Susquehanna Flats.