Seth Barker

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Eelgrass, Zostera marina, is one of many marine and estuarine flowering plants that grow in intertidal and subtidal locations around the world. In Maine, only one other flowering plant occupies similar habitats, Widgeon Grass, or Ruppia maritima. The focus of this project is the distribution of eelgrass in Casco Bay. Monitoring eelgrass distribution over a large geographic area and identifying potential factors responsible for changes in distribution is no small task, but most efforts to preserve the ecology of an area begin with these basic steps. Though direct cause and effect relationships are often difficult to support, enough is known of the root causes of the decline of sea grasses that with careful collection of data for many of the parameters that are important to eelgrass and other SAV (submerged aquatic vegetation), well informed decisions can be made as to where to place scarce resources to improve the environment and the future of this important habitat. A necessary first step is to periodically obtain documentation of the distribution and the relative density of eelgrass beds. This project is such a benchmark.


The following report was written in partial fulfillment of the contract Advantage Number 06A 20180328*2842 with the State of Maine, Department of Environmental Protection.


Casco Bay, Maquoit Bay, New Meadows watershed



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