Listed below are the site descriptions and results of our eelgrass restoration locations. The sites include all our sites since the first large scale transplant in 2002: Fogland Point, Tiverton; Poplar Point, North Kingstown; Sauga Point, North Kingstown; Prudence Island, Portsmouth; Coggeshall Point, Portsmouth; Hog Island, Portsmouth.

 

Fogland Point, Tiverton

 A test transplant conducted at Fogland Point in 2001 resulted in a 74% survival rate, showing promise as for a large-scale transplant site. Eelgrass was planted on a large-scale at this site from 2002 – 2004, with efforts increasing each year.

2002                              7,800 shoots

2003                              14,400 shoots

2004                              20,000 shoots

Though Fogland Point was initially one of our most successful sites, we found that by 2004 the previous years efforts had failed. We cannot say for sure why the transplants at Fogland Point did not survive. We suspect there may have been some ice scouring from the cold 2003/2004 winter, when Narragansett Bay froze for the first time in 30 years. However, the results of the 2004 transplant were not very promising with only 32% survival. The remaining 2004 transplant was heavily covered in epiphytes, indicating possible water quality issues. This transplant also did not survive the winter. These unfortunate results have prompted us to abandon this site for large-scale transplants. However, we will continue to monitor water quality at this site to obtain a long-term data set and hopefully get some insight into why this site proved to be unsuccessful. We are also continuing to conduct test transplants throughout the SakonnetRiver in search of potential sites for large-scale transplants and as a means of monitoring water quality.

   

Poplar Point, North Kingstown

 A test transplant conducted at Poplar Point in 2001 had a survival rate of 84%. A large-scale transplant was conducted the following season in 2002 with 6,200 eelgrass shoots planted. The 2002 transplant resulted in at 58% survival rate. In 2003, we chose to conduct large-scale transplants at Sauga Point in North Kingstown rather than Poplar Point. Sauga Point was comparable site with less boat activity. 

  

Sauga Point, North Kingstown

 Save The Bay began conducting large-scale transplants at Sauga Point in 2003. 9,600 shoots (spring and fall transplants)

2003                              36,000 shoots (spring and fall transplants)

2004                              20,000 shoots (spring)

2005                              20,000 shoots (spring)

2006                              8,400 shoots (spring)

Sauga Point had been relatively successful site, particularly in 2003 and 2004. The 2003 transplant at this site is the only one that survived that year after low dissolved oxygen in the bay resulted in a clam and fish kill in GreenwichBay 

Survival rates were relatively low in 2005, however, the transplants 2003 and 2004 at this site continued to flourish and expand that year. Survival rates were also low in 2006, investigations before and after the heat wave in August 2006 indicate this 2006 transplant sustained the majority of its losses during this one week period. Immediately following the week of record high temperatures at the start of August, we found a high number of crabs in the area and evidence of predation. The low survival during this week was likely a factor of heat stress on the plants, increased crab foraging activities in warmer waters, or possibly an influx of crabs escaping into shallower water from areas of low oxygen.  

During the 2007 season, Meredith Berman, a student from BrownUniversity conducted a study on how crabs are impacting this transplant site. Results are currently being analyzed. The 2007 transplant at Sauga initially appeared promising with a survival rate of 48%, up from the previous two years. 

  

Prudence Island, Portsmouth

 The 2001 test transplant conducted at PrudenceIsland had a survival rate of 88%. Save The Bay began conducting large-scale transplants at this site the following year in 2002 and PrudenceIsland currently remains a large scale transplant site with over 180,000 shoots planted.

 2002                              6,800 shoots

2003                              9,600 shoots

2004                              36,000 shoots (spring and fall transplants)

2005                              40,000 shoots (spring and fall transplants)

2006                              40,000 shoots (spring and fall transplants)

2007                              45,000 shoots (spring and fall transplants)

 

The 2002 transplant at PrudenceIsland is flourishing both through expansion and flowering shoot production. The 2003 transplant did not survive, due to poor water quality in the 2003 season. In 2004, survival of the high density transect lines were significantly higher than the single plots at this site. The 2004, 2005, and 2006 transplants have survived and are expanding. Survival monitoring in 2007 showed that many of the checkerboard plots are coalescing. Prudence will continue as a large-scale transplant site.

  

Coggeshall Point, Portsmouth 

 A test transplant at Coggeshall Point was first conducted in 2004, with a survival rate of 198%. This plot almost doubled in size just within a two month period. With such a high survival rate, Coggeshall Point was selected for a large-scale transplant in 2005. This test plot as since coalesced with the first row of the spring 2005 transplant.

 

            2005               40,000 shoots (spring and fall transplants)

            2006               40,000 shoots (spring and fall transplants)

            2007               45,000 shoots (spring and fall transplants)

 This site had the highest survival rate for 2005 at 78% and in 2006 had the highest survival of any large-scale transplant to date with 101% survival. Transplants were conducted in the spring and fall of 2005 and 2006 with a total of 40,000 shoots planted each year. The 2007 transplant was also a success at this site with a 70% survival rate. The spring 2005 and 2006 plots are expanding and coalescing. 

 Initial survival rates for large-scale transplants by site conducted from 2002-2007. Survival data was collected approximately 2-3 months after the initial transplant. 

  

HogIsland, Portsmouth

A test transplant was conducted at this site in 2005 and 2006; each had at least a 70% survival. In 2007 HogIsland was selected to be a site for a larger scale transplant, eight buoys were set at this location. 20,000 eelgrass shoots were divided up between HogIsland and Sauga Point. This site had the highest survival rating of 2007 with 73%.