Watershed-Wide Actions

Ongoing

  • Monitor submerged aquatic vegetation throughout the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries
  • Track advancements in the scientific understanding of underwater grass biology, ecology, genetics, restoration and other related topics.
  • Encourage local, state and federal partners to manage those invasive species that are detrimental to underwater grasses.
  • Support the Water Quality Goal Implementation Team in its efforts to achieve water clarity standards in areas designated for submerged aquatic vegetation use.
  • Convene annual, in-person meetings of the Submerged Aquatic Vegetation Workgroup to discuss priorities, review status updates and implement work plan actions.
  • Enhance existing laws and regulations that protect underwater grasses in the Chesapeake Bay.
  • Continue efforts to plant seeds or propagules and establish underwater grass beds where they are not recovering naturally or add diversity to grass beds that have already recovered. Use these restoration activities to engage and educate citizen volunteers and further our understanding of site selection criteria.
  • Encourage local, state and federal partners to consider and promote the habitat benefits and ecosystem services of underwater grasses, especially when handling nearshore and shallow-water use conflicts.
  • Promote the use of best management practices that benefit the persistence and recovery of underwater grass beds.
  • Support the continue improvement and evolution of the submerged aquatic vegetation component of the shallow-water component of the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Model.
  • Review and refine the documents that guide work toward this outcome with new monitoring or restoration knowledge.

2020-2021

  • Continue implementation of Chesapeake Bay SAV Watchers, a volunteer monitoring program for SAV.
  • Finalize protocol and implement the Chesapeake Bay SAV Sentinel Site Program.
  • Develop and publish "Small-scale SAV Restoration in Chesapeake Bay: A Protocol and Technical Guidance Manual" to promote collaborative restoration efforts throughout the Bay.
  • Assess the feasibility of incorporating the use of high-resolution satellite imagery into the Chesapeake Bay-wide SAV Monitoring Program.
  • Consider the implications of competing goals related to shallow water uses. Evaluate the potential for SAV to reach restoration goals and provide relevant ecosystem services in the face of climate change impacts (i.e., sea level rise, increased Bay temperatures).
  • Develop a communication strategy that enhances the public's knowledge of and appreciation for SAV in the Chesapeake Bay, similar to the models used to advance oyster and other wildlife restoration efforts.