The next phase of our eelgrass restoration efforts will include test transplants and advocacy to support the necessary water quality improvements to allow eelgrass to survive in the mid and upper bay. Each year we plant small test plots of a few hundred eelgrass shoots throughout the Bay to identify new locations where large-scale transplants may be viable. The numerous test plots planted north of Prudence Island over the last 10 years have not been successful, with poor water quality as the likely culprit.  Greenwich Bay is an example of an ideal upper Bay location, historically home to acres and acres of eelgrass, but where nutrient pollution has led to poor water quality.  Future test transplants will be an important tool to both monitor the impact of the nutrient upgrades and to identify viable large scale transplant sites once water quality improvements are realized.

Save The Bay will continue to advocate for improving water quality in the Bay with the hope that we will be able to continue restoring eelgrass in the northern portions of the Bay sometime in the future. Past advocacy efforts have resulted in planning and design for future upgrades and nutrient removal at treatment plants in the Upper Bay and it's tributaries to be implemented in the next five years. Future challenges include reducing nutrient pollution to the upper bay from Worcester, Massachusetts' sewage treatment plant on the Blackstone River and from stormwater runoff and septic systems.   Save The Bay expects that nutrient removal will expand locations suitable for eelgrass survival in the mid-Bay.

 

Have questions? Want to know more? Contact Maria Martinez at mmartinez@savebay.org or 401-272-3540, x142.