The public perception of underwater grasses as a nuisance must be transformed if our restoration and protection efforts are to succeed. Effective communication could better engage this audience.
Laws and regulations meant to protect underwater grasses are essential to their preservation.
Small-scale efforts to restore underwater grasses would benefit from partner coordination and collaborative community engagement. Large-scale restoration activities led by federal agencies that are not specific to submerged aquatic vegetation would benefit from the inclusion of SAV.
Efforts to monitor and restore underwater grasses cannot be sustained without renewed interest from funders.
Scientific and Technical Understanding
Efforts to monitor existing grass beds through the annual aerial survey and the work of partner organizations and individual volunteers are critical to our work to protect and restore grass beds. This work will also benefit from a better understanding of the potential impacts of climate change, the most successful methods of grass restoration and the economic value of the ecosystem services healthy grass beds provide.
Flora, Fauna and Habitat Condition
Invasive species like the water chestnut and mute swan could impact the recovery of underwater grass beds. Poor water clarity will also impact grass recovery, although grass restoration should lead to water clarity improvements.
Factors Influencing Progress
Several factors could impact our ability to achieve and sustain 185,000 acres of underwater grasses across the Chesapeake Bay. These factors have directly informed the management actions our partners will take to achieve the Submerged Aquatic Vegetation (SAV) outcome.