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Post-aquaculture estuarine restoration and eelgrass recovery in Drakes Estero, California - Livestream

Between August 2016 and May 2017 the National Park Service (NPS) removed 95 wooden oyster racks and associated mariculture debris from Drakes Estero, a shallow estuary within Point Reyes National Seashore, Marin County, California. A total of 3.8 million lbs. of debris was removed from the estero, with the majority including shell, pressure treated wood, and plastic debris (2.8 million lbs.) from the estero floor where it precluded the growth of eelgrass (Zostera marina). In order to (1) detect any impacts on eelgrass, (2) document recovery of eelgrass post-restoration, and (3) track changes to benthic communities including non-native species, we implemented a subtidal monitoring program with control sites and analyzed before and after restoration images for percent cover of benthic communities. In general, eelgrass growth into disturbed plots was variable, with more rapid growth in less disturbed plots. Passive eelgrass restoration has been largely successful in this wilderness estuary.

Speaker: Ben Becker, California Cooperative Ecosystems Studies Unit

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Wednesday, 02/02/22


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Estuary & Ocean Science Center

, CA