What is Eelgrass and How Will Planting It Make a Difference?

Eelgrass is an aquatic plant that provides a substantial service to the marine environment.

Their roots naturally stabilize the sea floor by trapping sediment, slowing currents, and reducing wave forces which are all helpful in preventing erosion to waterfront properties.

Eelgrass habitats are some of the most diverse habitats on earth, even more so than coral reefs and rainforests. Many commercially important fish and shellfish species utilize eelgrass beds as spawning grounds and nurseries. Reestablishing eelgrass beds will strengthen food webs and lessen the strain on local fisheries by providing them a safe habitat.

Unlike us air breathers, oxygen is limited in aquatic environments. However, eelgrass absorbs carbon dioxide and produces dissolved oxygen as a byproduct of photosynthesis. This form of oxygen is used by marine organisms for respiration. Other organic chemicals such as nitrogen and phosphorus that cause harmful algae blooms, re also absorbed by eelgrass.