Friday, May 9, 2008

Sag Harbor Test Plots

On April 25th we were able to check out our Sag Harbor test plantings on the east side of North Haven, Southampton. This work is part of our site selection work for the Suffolk County Eelgrass Restoration Initiative. Steve got in and took pictures starting with plot 1 (shallow) and working out to plot 4 (deep). All plants looked excellent once he removed the heavy covering of drifting macroalgae. This covering is typical for this time of year, especially at a site like this where the current runs strong (see photo below) and transports all kinds of floating material to our plots.

We were missing many shoots, probably the result of erosion or, more than likely, from crab burrowing. Shoot densities ranged from 20 in the deepest plot to 120 at the second shallowest plot (we planted 200 shoots per plot last fall). Although plot 1 looked the best in the photo (see above) plot 2 actually had the highest density with 120 shoots remaining.

If these plots are not dug out by burrowing crabs or whelks I am fairly confident that we should have long-term survival here given the presence of grass nearby, but there is no guarantee of this. Over the coming months we will track to progress of these plantings. I doubt plot 3 and 4 will make it through June given our experience with this area in the past...


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