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Course Outline

Man Rowing Boat Through Seagrass

Seagrasses are plants totally adapted to living underwater. Their canopy of leaves that rise into the water and their net of roots that penetrate into the sediments below create a calm, stable, and protected habitat for a wide variety of marine life.

  • Seagrass benefits the environment by providing habitat or nursery areas for young stages of fish, crustaceans, and shellfish, which are important to commercial and recreational industries. Seagrass also maintains water quality by stabilizing bottom sediments and filtering nutrients from the water column, aiding the growth of other marine life.
  • Seagrass loss in watersheds of estuarine and marine systems is caused by human activities, such as dredge and fill activities, coastal development, nutrient pollution, degraded water quality, propeller scarring, and interruption of natural hydrology.
  • If boating in shallow areas or seagrass beds, you could see a mud trail in your wake where your propeller has churned up the bottom, clouded the water, and likely cut seagrass roots. If you see this trail, you should stop your vessel, tilt your motor out of the water, and pole or walk your vessel out of the shallow area or seagrass bed.
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