Monitoring > Field Observations > 2002
2002 Field Observations and a First Look at the Aerial Photography
  • 08/08/02 Gretchen Arnold, VIMS - Kings Creek (Cape Charles)
  • 07/15/02 Bob Orth, VIMS - SAV Aerial Update #2 (Lower Potomac River)
  • 07/10/02 Jill Bieri, CBF - Chickahominy River
  • 07/09/02 Bob Orth, VIMS - SAV Aerial Update #1 (Lower Chesapeake Bay)
  • 06/11/02 Chris Tanner, St. Mary's College of Maryland - St. Mary's River
  • 04/30/02 Pat Neidhardt - Dividing Creek
  • 04/24/02 Bob Orth, VIMS - VIMS field report #2 (South Bay)
  • 04/23/02 Bob Orth, VIMS - VIMS field report #1 (York, James, Rappahannock, & Piankatank rivers)

08/08/02 Gretchen Arnold, VIMS

Kings Creek, Cape Charles (Quad 133)

Yesterday we checked out three sites; at each of the sites we found patches of widgeon grass growing on the bottom. We also saw sparsely distributed brown eelgrass blades at each site. There weren't any mats of eelgrass floating on the water, but just a few blades here and there in the very shallow water along the shoreline. We spoke to a man who owns and clams the property  in that area, and he said that he had not noticed any change in the grass over the past couple of years.


07/15/02 Bob Orth, VIMS

SAV Aerial Update #2

Lower Potomac River


Below are the observations from the aerial photography taken of the lower Potomac River from the mouth to St. Clement Bay on the Maryland side and the Yeocomico River on the Virginia side. The flight was conducted on July 6. While only 4 lines were flown on this date, I felt the observations were well worth reporting!



MARYLAND SIDE (flight lines 68, 69)

Smith Creek (quad 89) dense SAV at the mouth along both shores and along the mainstem to Calvert Creek. SAV beds are denser than in 2001.

St. Mary's River (quads 80, 89)- SAV abundance is IMPRESSIVE!! And it matches Chris Tanner's field surveys that showed widgeongrass doing extremely well in this river in all locations reported in past surveys, from Chicken Cock Creek on the eastern shore, and the tip of St. Georges Island on the western side (Note: Chris Tanner is doing SAV transplanting here. You can see Chris's notes for his field observations this past spring on the VIMS web site).

St. Georges Creek (quads 80, 89) beds have gotten denser in the lower portion of the creek up to Tarkill Cove, but as in the St. Mary's quite impressive!

Mainstem lower Potomac from Piney Point to the north end of St. Georges Island (quad 89) patchy to moderately dense SAV present again in 2002 from Piney Point to the bridge and the bed just south of the bridge is very dense! (Note: Ryan Davis is doing SAV transplanting here).

Herring Creek (quad 79) SAV beds are still present here primarily near the creek entrance (reported here last year for the first time) and are denser in 2002.

Breton Bay (quads 69,78) moderately patchy SAV beds are present this year primarily along the north shore from Newtown Neck to the mouth of Cherry Cove. There are very patchy but small beds along the south shore. This pattern is in contrast to 2000 and 2001 when no SAV was reported in Breton Bay. SAV was last reported here in 1999 and in 2002 SAV appears to be more abundant than in any previous year.

South of Breton Bay on the mainstem Potomac River (quad 78) There is an impressive amount of SAV just south of Breton Bay along the mainstem for almost two miles down to White Point Beach. There has been almost no SAV here in previous years.

St. Clement Bay (quads 69, 78)- SAV abundance is very impressive here this year. There are very dense beds along both shores from the mouth to Cedar Point on the north shore to Tenneson Creek on the south shore. SAV changes have been quite dramatic here in the last few years. SAV was dense in 1999, but in 2000 SAV totally disappeared only, to return again in 2001 but beds were only moderately dense. The beds likely consist of widgeongrass although field information is very sparse for this entire region.

VIRGINIA SIDE (flight lines 79, 80)

Coan River (quads 89, 97) - SAV occurs in very patchy beds just inside of Walnut Point and along the south shore of the Glebe. Small patches appear at other locations including Judith Sound. The beds likely consist of widgeongrass. (Note: Ryan Davis has been doing SAV transplanting in this system).

Yeocomico River (quad 88) SAV beds reported last year are still present, along with some new beds, but are much more dense. They occur along the north shore from Lynch Point into the West Yeocomico (they are especially dense at the mouth of Parkers Creek), and along the south shore from Barn Point to Duggan Point. The beds likely consist of widgeongrass.

FINAL NOTE: Impressive beds in the lower Potomac and most likely all widgeongrass beds!

If you would like information on a specific site in any of these locations, or if you have any ground data that supports what we are observing on the photographs, please e-mail me or give me a call.

Please share this with any other interested individuals or groups.

Bob (JJ)

07/10/02 Jill Bieri, CBF

Lower Chickahominy River

We conducted a groundtruthing workshop yesterday on the lower Chickahominy. We launched canoes from Chickahominy River Park (formerly Powatan Resort) and paddled on the lower side of Gordon Island, around the tip and across the mainstem to the northern shore (Quads 127 and 128). We trained about 17 volunteers to do their own surveys later this summer.

We found mostly coontail but did find small patches of wild celery around Gordon Island. It is the first time I have ever seen wild celery in this area (except for our planted sites just below the Rt. 5 bridge) and I was very excited. I hope to get back out there and paddle up Gordon Creek and Nettles Creek to look for more wild celery (typically coontail and naiad). I'll keep you posted.


07/09/02 Bob Orth, VIMS

SAV Aerial Update #1

Lower Chesapeake Bay


Greetings! I hope you all are having a good summer!

As in past years I will be providing you with a 'first look' at the aerial photography when I obtain them from Air Photographics, our contractor. This is my first update for 2002 and it encompasses observations from photographs taken from much of the lower bay along both the eastern and western shore. Each year when we acquire the photographs, I have always wanted to share them with you so that you can directly see all the slight nuances in SAV bed configuration and how the structure changes in different areas of the bay and between years. In the near future we hope to place the photo-mosaics we are now using for the SAV photo-interpretation directly on our web site so you will be able to see the SAV beds themselves in addition to the GIS polygons on the SAV maps. So stay tuned.

The unusual weather this past spring and early summer has presented more than the usual challenges in acquiring the photography. Atmospheric conditions (minimal wind, minimal cloud cover and haze, low sun angle to eliminate sun glare), water clarity, and tide stage all must conform to strict guidelines to adequately capture the SAV signatures. We have generally initiated the monitoring on or around May 15, and in the lower Bay first because of the dominance of eelgrass that reaches peak biomass in early June. This year, just when we were ready to begin, we had an unusual week of very strong winds from the W and SW. Winds did not subside and were blowing at 15 mph or greater. This created some of the most turbid conditions I have observed in over 25 years in the lower Bay. During this same period we target many of the beds to collect eelgrass seeds for our restoration work because the water clarity has always been great and it's easy to collect shoots with eelgrass seeds! This was completely opposite this year and the highly turbid water severely compromised the aerial survey and our seed collecting for a three-week period. We even observed large differences in water clarity over short spatial scales, e.g. secchi readings in the Mobjack Bay on one day at the New Point lighthouse was 1.20 m while directly across at the Guinea Marshes only 5 miles distant, secchi readings were 0.65. We also checked with DEQ staff that oversee the lower Bay monitoring data set and they noted that water clarity during the latter part of May was below the historical average. We regularly checked water clarity and on June 10, noted that water clarity had improved significantly so we gave the green light to Air Photographics to begin the overflights.

We have finally begun development of the interactive web site for directly inputting ground data collected by citizens and scientists. The project is being funded by grants from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and Virginia's NOAA Coastal Resource Management Program. Species information for between 1500 to 2000 ground data points in the Bay are reported to us by CBF who now oversees the Citizens SAV Program, a significant portion coming from citizens. We hope this will increase significantly once the site goes on-line. We expect the site to be fully operational for next field season.

Listed below are the flight lines and the dates they were flown. Please remember we have a map on the web site that shows location of each flight line. Also, none of the beds noted here in the 2002 photography have been mapped or digitized and these are simply my first observations from the photography.


June 16: Lines 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87c, 88, 89, 90, 91, 91a, 92, 92a, 104, 105 106, 107, 108, 109, 138, 147

June 24: Lines 1, 1A, 2, 3, 4, 110, 111, 112, 113


(flight lines 91, 91a, 92, 92a; quads 122, 123, 131, 132) - SAV (both eelgrass and widgeon grass) is still abundant in many of the same areas highlighted in previous years including the large SAV beds in Horn Harbor just north of New Point at the mouth of the Mobjack Bay. SAV in the upriver portions of the Ware, North and East rivers (Mobjack Bay), which are predominantly widgeongrass, were denser and more abundant in 2002, continuing a trend of increasing abundance after reaching a low point in 1999.

(flight lines 89, 90, 91; quads 118, 123) - SAV in the Piankatank and Milford Haven areas continues to persist in the following areas: patchy to dense beds on and just behind extensive shoal area at north end of Gwynns Island and up to the entrance to the southern entrance to Milford Haven; at the south end of Gwynns Island at "The Hole in the Wall", although the large bed on the bay side of "The Hole in the Wall" has been substantially reduced in size from previous years, most likely due to the encroaching sand bars in this section; small, but dense beds on both shorelines in Milford Haven; some new but very patchy beds along both shores of the Piankatank River up to Healy Creek; and the large bed reported in our field observations this past spring that developed just in the last few years is present and very dense (see photo; both eelgrass and widgeon grass are present). There still remain some large shoal areas with no vegetation that were historically densely vegetated.


(flight lines 87c, 88, 147; quads 110, 111, 116, 117, 118) - SAV remains abundant in the same areas we have observed in the past few years, primarily along the north shore. The bed at Windmill Point at the mouth, which is mostly eelgrass, remains small and very sparse. The small, scattered beds in and around Mosquito Island just north of Windmill Point that we noted in 2001 have increased in size and density. The beds above the Rt. 3 bridge on the north shore (see photo), which includes both VIMS and CBF transplants of both adult and seed plots of eelgrass, are very dense this year (the transplants were field checked earlier in the spring and were doing well). The remaining beds on the north shore from Carters Creek into the Corrotoman River and at Towles Point are generally similar to what we noted in 2001 but are also denser. Along the south shore, some small beds noted around Parrots Island in 2001 are still present and denser this year. There also appears to be small scattered patches of SAV above the bridge on the south shore going towards Urbanna. These may be widgeongrass, which has been doing very well in the Rappahannock River these last few years, but these will need to be field verified.

(flight lines 83, 84, 85, 86, 138; quads 106, 112) - SAV (both eelgrass and widgeon grass) is present in same areas as in the past surveys: Fleets Bay, and Dymer, Indian, and Dividing creeks, Dameron Marsh, Fleeton Point, and the Wicomico River. SAV beds look good with the densest beds at Dameron Marsh. Also, many of the beds are denser than in 2001. There is one eelgrass bed in Fleets Bay that continues to be of interest because it has persisted since most of the beds in this area declined in the 1970s following Agnes, and the water depth at MLW is almost 2 meters making it one of the deeper locations for eelgrass, as most areas support eelgrass down to only 1 to 1.5 meters! (see photo)


(flight lines 104-108; quads 108, 113, 114, 119, 124, 133, 134, 142) - abundant and dense SAV (eelgrass and widgeongrass) at all creek mouths (Old Plantation, Cherrystone, Hungars, Mattawoman, Nassawadox, Occohannock, Craddock, Nandua, Pungoteague, Onancock and Chesconessex creeks), along the southern portion of Big Marsh, and very dense adjacent to Parker and Finney Islands. This pattern continues as in past years. SAV appears to be more abundant along both shorelines of many of these creeks.

(flight lines 107,108, 109, 110; quads 100, 101, 108, 109) SAV (eelgrass and widgeongrass) along the north side (MD portion), especially around Broad Creek and into Broad Creek going to Crisfield, appear as dense or denser than in 2001. Beds along the southern shore (VA portion) are very dense especially Webb and Halfmoon Islands and adjacent to Big Marsh. The large bed west of Webb and Halfmoon Islands (see quad 108) is still present but very patchy. Other, smaller beds noted in previous years are still present, with some denser than what was noted in 2001.

(flight line 111; quad 107)- Patchy SAV (eelgrass and widgeongrass) is still present on the east side of island but denser than in 2001.

(flight lines 109, 110, 111; quad 100) - SAV (eelgrass and widgeongrass) is very dense along the east side of the Fox Islands but they are still reduced from what was recorded in the late 1980s and early 1990s. These losses were in the offshore deeper areas.

(flight lines 112, 113; quads 91, 92, 99, 100, 107) - SAV (eelgrass and widgeongrass) is abundant in many of the same locations as in 2001. Beds around Tangier are very dense especially the large shoal areas between Tangier and Smith. The large shallow water area near Ewell (the Big Thoroughfare) and many of the cut-throughs to the island continue to have vegetation again this year and in some areas are denser than in 2001.

(flight lines 110, 111; quads 100, 101) - Dense beds at the mouth of the river on the south side, as well as many areas in and around Crisfield noted in previous surveys. Beds appear denser than in 2001.

(flight lines 1, 1A; quad 93) - SAV is present primarily in dense to patchy beds at or near the mouth, and in the same areas as reported in 2001. However, there is not a lot of SAV in this system.

(flight lines 2, 3, 4; quad 84) - SAV beds are in many of the same locations noted in 2001. Beds but are still present in the south end of Little Deal Island and Teague, Goose and Mine creeks and Hazard Cove. However, there is not a lot of SAV in this system.

SOME FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE FIRST LOOK - Based on what we have seen in the above photos and field observations, many of the beds that are denser in 2002, and new beds, are likely widgeongrass so it looks like it will be a good year for this species (I am getting these same reports regarding widgeongrass from a few other areas of the bay we have not flown yet).

If you would like information on a specific site in any of these regions, or if you have any ground data that supports what we are observing on the photographs, please e-mail me or give me a call.

Please share this with any other interested individuals or groups.

Bob (JJ)

06/11/02 Chris Tanner, St. Mary's College of Maryland

St. Mary's River (Maps 80 and 89)

My students and I have been out and about on the St. Mary's River this spring and early summer, monitoring water quality and surveying SAV. Water quality has been excellent this year, with good water clarity, low nutrients and, unlike the last couple springs, high oxygen levels near the bottom. We didn't have a major algal bloom as we have had the last two years.

Ruppia maritima beds continue to expand and spread in the St. Mary's. For the first time that I can remember, there are patches in Horseshoe Bend, adjacent to St. Mary's College and between Chancellor and Church Points. The R. maritima bed from Windmill Point south has expanded and coalesced. Beds off Rosecroft Point, Piney Point, St. Georges Island, and Sage Point are also doing well. Zannichellia palustris, on the other hand, is not nearly as abundant as last year. Over the last four years, there has been an alternation between extensive beds one year, followed by very little Z. palustris the next. For example, at the upper end of the tidal river, above Tippity Wichity Island, there were extensive beds of Z. palustris in the spring of 1999 and 2001, but none in 2000 and 2002. This is not related to ice scouring as the river had ice on it in the winter of 2000-2001 but not 2001-2002.

At the other end of the St. Mary's near Sage Point, we encountered a dozen or more dense patches of Zostera marina ranging in size from 1/4 m2 to a couple m2. In the fall of 1999 we transplanted eelgrass into 10 0.25 m2 plots at this site and Bob Orth conducted one of his eelgrass seed experiments. The current patches are both inside and outside of plots that Orth and I established in 1999. By the way, in May all of the eelgrass patches were loaded with flowering shoots. The future for eelgrass in the St. Mary's River looks hopeful.


04/30/02 Pat Neidhardt
Buckingham Cove, Dividing Creek (Quad 023)

I live on Buckingham Cove off Dividing Creek off the Magothy River. I have lived here since 1974 and have never seen anything like this. We have a huge growth of Horned Pondweed. A band of it nearly surrounds the cove and extends out into Dividing Creek. The band is about 30 feet across and the grasses are thick and lush. I am not sure how far into the Creek it extends but hope to get out in my kayak in the next several days to investigate.


04/24/02 Bob Orth, VIMS

VIMS field report #2.

South Bay

Greetings. We continued our initial field observations last week at South Bay, one of Virginia's coastal bays, where we have been conducting a large number of our seed experiments. This was one of the coastal bays that had significant populations of eelgrass prior to 1933, and as in most other areas of the Atlantic, lost their eelgrass populations due to the pandemic eelgrass wasting disease and 1933 hurricane. These areas also supported a significant bay scallop population, which also crashed in 1933. Bay scallops depend on eelgrass as a settling substrate for the larvae - no eelgrass - no scallops! (sidebar - bay scallops were only found in the coastal bays, never in Chesapeake Bay). However, unlike Chincoteague Bay, these southern bays never recovered. What we noted in the field was indeed very impressive!

Our initial 1998 eelgrass test plots (4 m2) with adult plants remain, although one was covered by mud snails (not an atypical occurrence but plants do seem to rebound once egg cases are deposited on the leaves). In some plots, the 3-4 meter area in between the plots is now completely covered by plants and there is an approximately 5 meter halo around each plot that is peppered with plants. We can only assume they are the result of seeds produced by these plants. 

In 1999, we broadcast two large areas with approx. 140,000 seeds. They are now impressively robust with dense grass in an approximately 10 m wide swath and with numerous reproductive shoots (one in the shape of a B and the other in the shape of a W (see Figure).

 In 2000, we planted 100 m2 plots with either 50K or 100K seeds and they are also doing well, with abundant reproductive shoots (note - eelgrass plants usually don't produce many reproductive shoots until the second year following seed germination). Other plots from our 2000 seed experiments are also doing well (see Figure). In 2001, VMRC gave VIMS a 400 acre set-aside (see Figure) area specifically for our restoration work. We partitioned the area into 400 one-acre plots and have designated 200 of these to receive seeds. We broadcast either 100K or 200K seeds into 24 plots in 2001 (12 of each seed density). We checked a number of these plots and all had numerous seedlings.

 I think the most impressive thing we noted was numerous seedlings and small patches of eelgrass with reproductive shoots in many areas well outside all the plots. This is exciting because we are assuming that much of this is coming from seeds produced from our plots and dispersing throughout this area, both close to, and at some distance from the plots. We have also come across larger patches (>2-3 m2) in this region, which must be a result of some natural recruitment from outside the system. We are hypothesizing these may have developed from seeds from the rafting reproductive shoots that contain viable seeds floating into South Bay, perhaps from Chincoteague Bay.

 We also checked four 1acre-sized plots in Cobb Island Bay (the next bay north of South Bay) where either 100K or 200K eelgrass seeds were broadcast last fall. Numerous seedlings were noted in these plots, as in the South Bay plots. Share this with others you may think appropriate. Cheers
Bob 'JJ'

(Editorial comment - I wonder if those of you who go out in the field feel like I do when you are out there. I always feel like the character "Shoeless" Joe Jackson in the movie "Field of Dreams" when he turns to Kevin Costner as he gets ready to leave the ballfield that Costner has built in this cornfield in Iowa, and he asks Costner "is this heaven?" Being in the field away from phones, faxes, and e-mails that ring and beep every 10 minutes is so enjoyable and fun-it can't get any better than the last two weeks! I have asked "is this heaven?"

P.S. Sorry for you non-baseball fans if you don't know who "Shoeless" Joe is)

04/23/02 Bob Orth, VIMS

VIMS field report #1.

York, James, Rappahannock, and Piankatank Rivers

Greetings. We at VIMS just started our spring field season checking out SAV (primarily eelgrass) areas in the lower Bay, and what we have seen so far was so impressive. We felt you all might be interested in what we have observed.

YORK RIVER Naturally occurring populations in the lower York River and Mobjack Bay appear very robust with 'heaps' of reproductive shoots (that's Aussie for lots! It's to make Bill Dennison, who just got back from there after 10 years, feel at home). It appears this will be another great year for eelgrass seed production. As expected seed development is significantly further ahead (by about 2 weeks) in the Mobjack Bay compared to the York River, a pattern we have observed since we started collecting reproductive shoots in the 1980's, and most likely related to water temperature differences in the two areas.

Our large transplants along the southern shore (the experiment where we planted in different fragment designs) are present but very patchy, which is in stark contrast to what we just observed for similar transplant areas in the James River (see below). VIMS transplants at Gloucester Point are doing very well and significant seedling recruitment appears to have occurred in this same area.


VIMS eelgrass transplants (from 1997 and 1998) on the north shore of the James River (quad #149, Newport News South) are doing very well, with the inshore area of these plots that were previously only sparsely populated with eelgrass, now having between 50 and 100% cover of natural eelgrass. Even the unvegetated areas between the experimental plots are now significantly vegetated with eelgrass (very little widgeongrass is present in this location), likely due to seed recruitment from these plots.

We have two 100 m2 seed plots planted in 2000 which are doing quite well with the plots having close to 75% cover with numerous reproductive shoots. Eelgrass is also present in the areas where VIMS and CBF are conducting an experiment comparing eelgrass planted with the Florida planting machine vs. the VIMS unanchored bare root technique, and seeds. Those data are being analyzed and will be written up and submitted to a journal for peer review sometime in the next few months as a joint VIMS-CBF publication.

Last fall, we seeded 7 one-acre plots along the north shore with either 100,000 or 200,000 eelgrass seeds per plot (quad #147, Hampton). We found abundant seedlings (approx. 1 every square meter) in each of the 7 plots.

The most interesting observations we made were from the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel to Merrimac shores, just west of Hampton Creek. We had planted at two locations here in 1996 as part of that big 1996 experiment. It is also the area that contains what was the only persistent and naturally occurring eelgrass bed in front of the Veteran's Administration Hospital at the mouth of Hampton Creek. When we concluded the quantitative sampling in the fall of 1998, very little eelgrass remained at both transplant sites, but the bed at the VA Hospital persisted as did some smaller beds just west of Hampton Creek. The area as of last week is now between 50 and 100% cover eelgrass!! While our plot stakes are still there, you could not distinguish the particular plots because the entire area was completely covered with eelgrass, with 'heaps' of reproductive shoots! And to add to this, we found numerous patches of naturally occurring eelgrass ranging from less than 1 square meter to greater than 4 square meters along the entire shoreline!

Anyway, it was impressive!!


Almost all the SAV in the lower part of this river is between the Rt. 3 bridge and Towles Point (quad #111 Irvington) and is dominated by widgeongrass. We checked two areas, Sanders Cove (just west of the bridge) and Towles Point, where VIMS and CBF have done eelgrass transplants over the last few years. At Sanders Cove, eelgrass test plots (4 square meters) planted in 1996 by VIMS are still present as is the 2000 CBF eelgrass planting just west of the VIMS test plots. Two100 m2 plots where citizens broadcast 100,000 eelgrass seeds they received from VIMS in 2000 are doing very well (cover was estimated between 50 and 75%) and have numerous reproductive shoots. Eelgrass is also present in the experimental areas where VIMS and CBF are conducting the planting boat experiment. Much of the eelgrass also had abundant flowering shoots. This entire area has abundant widgeongrass.

At Towles Point, eelgrass is still present in some of the seed plots planted by VIMS staff in 2000. The area also has numerous widgeongrass patches, many more than what was noted in 2001.

PIANKATANK RIVER There was a surprising find of a large natural bed of eelgrass and widgeon grass in the lower Piankatank off Healy Creek (quad #117 Wilton). The eelgrass was growing in approx 1.5 m of water (and at low tide!) with reproductive shoots almost a meter long. What is fascinating about this bed is trying to understand how it developed so quickly. It was obviously from seeds brought in by rafting reproductive shoots, the primary long distance dispersal mechanism for eelgrass, but there is little eelgrass in this river system. We know floating reproductive shoots with viable seeds can move long distances but one has to wonder how frequently these events occur at different sites.

Another interesting observation is that large patches of eelgrass and widgeongrass are also growing inshore of this large offshore bed along the same shoreline area that VIMS planted in the 1980s with the help of the 'Save the Ole Piankatank' organization. None of the material planted in the 1980s survived more than a few years. The size of the patches we observed this past week suggest that they are probably 4 or more years old. BUT this is all from natural recruitment and it's doing fabulous! I compare this natural recovery process to the enormous effort we put into planting eelgrass in this area back in the 1980s.

OTHER NOTES Ken Moore and his gang are out and about with the 'dataflow' unit which is similar to the UMCES group at the Solomon's Lab. He has gotten some interesting preliminary information from the York River. He will be focusing upcoming work in the James River and hopes to have data that will help explain the persistence of eelgrass in the lower reaches along the north shore, as well as in the seaside lagoons where restoration efforts in South and Magothy bays meet with continuing success.

As time permits we will continue to update you on what we observe down here.

Share this with others you may think appropriate.

Bob 'JJ'

(Editorial side bar: Given 1) the amount of eelgrass transplanting by VIMS staff since 1978, 2) the success noted above so far with seeds, 3) the relative ease with which we have been able to harvest and disperse seeds, and 4) observations of naturally occurring eelgrass that could only have come from seeds, we continue to ask whether eelgrass seeds are better for restoration efforts than costly and labor intensive hand and machine plantings. If you have doubts, I suggest you participate in a fall eelgrass transplanting project that uses adult plants, especially, on a cold, rainy day in late October when water temperatures are 15C (or less) and you have to be in the water for 3 hours in a wet suit!!)