Artwork by Cory & Catska Ench
Eelgrass Mapping

For several years, the Jefferson MRC hired professional marine consultants to provide more accurate information about distribution and health of eelgrass beds in key locations. These areas included Discovery Bay, Mystery Bay, Point Wilson and South Port Townsend Bay. Some of this information was used to support project permit applications, while other eelgrass mapping efforts filled data gaps, established baselines or allowed us to compare eelgrass bed changes over time.

The consultants used underwater videography to observe presence or absence of eelgrass, using the same methods that WA Dept of Natural Resources uses for their regional eelgrass monitoring program. The orange lines in the illustration show transects where eelgrass was present; polygons for a map are then generated from that data.

Maps and information from these studies can be found in SoundIQ, an on-line mapping program hosted by the Northwest Straits Initiative. SoundIQ is described in more detail here.

The reddish growth on eelgrass is macro-algae, which is food for marine invertebrates.
Map of an eelgrass survey. Orange lines show where eelgrass was found along transects in the area south of PT Boat Haven.
Eelgrass Mapping