Mapping and monitoring of SAV plays a key role in helping managers to understand how best to manage these habitats. It also provides essential information to restoration practitioners, who use such data to inform what types of projects they take on, where, and how. Piecing together all of these interrelated aspects, the Pacific Marine and Estuarine Fish Habitat Partnership (PMEP) recently released a new report entitled: “Eelgrass Restoration on the U.S. West Coast: A Comprehensive Assessment of Restoration Techniques and Their Outcomes.” Check it out here: Eelgrass Restoration Synthesis | Pacific Marine and Estuarine Fish Habitat Partnership
PMEP is proud to announce the release of Eelgrass Restoration on the U.S. West Coast: A Comprehensive Assessment of Restoration Techniques and Their Outcomes. Eelgrass is an important foundation species along the U.S. West Coast, supporting a suite of ecosystem services and functions and providing food and shelter for many fishes and invertebrates. In 2018, PMEP published Eelgrass Habitats on The U.S. West Coast: State of the Knowledge of Eelgrass Ecosystem Services and Eelgrass Extent and compiled a geodatabase of eelgrass presence/absence and current and historic extent of eelgrass in 444 estuaries along the U.S. West Coast.
PMEP commissioned this new report to synthesize eelgrass restoration project successes along the U.S. West Coast to identify best practices for eelgrass restoration and mitigation. To identify best practices, the authors synthesized data from 51 eelgrass restoration (non-mitigation and mitigation) projects from California, Oregon, and Washington. They conducted 22 interviews with leaders in the field, ranging from practitioners and managers to academics and consultants. Through these interviews they gathered qualitative data on past restoration efforts, gained a better understanding of best practices used, and filled gaps in data that were missing from formal reports and publications.
The authors found that restoration method, while important, is not typically the primary driver of restoration success or failure. Instead, environmental conditions have a substantial impact on whether or not a project will meet desired outcomes. The report recommends a 5-step process for successful eelgrass restoration: assessing site suitability, selecting methods, conducting a pilot restoration, conducting a full-scale restoration, and evaluating restoration success using a reference meadow.
PMEP has developed a project webpage where practitioners can access data on all projects included in the report analysis. The webpage also presents case studies of successful eelgrass restoration and summarizes key findings of the report. Eelgrass Restoration Synthesis | Pacific Marine and Estuarine Fish Habitat Partnership