Eelgrass Talk

December 9, 2020 - 6:00 PM
Friends of Netarts Bay WEBS

Eelgrass in Netarts Bay.\Photo by York Johnson.

The Friends of Netarts Bay WEBS (Watershed, Estuary, Beach and Sea) are sponsoring a talk about eelgrass by Tony D’Andrea.  The event, free and open to all takes place online on Wednesday, Dec. 9, 6 p.m.

A flowering aquatic plant, eelgrass is considered to be a foundation or habitat-forming species. Eelgrass plays an important role in bays and estuaries. These plants provide homes for other animals, act as a nursery for many different fish and invertebrates, and is a food source as well. From birds to seals, these beds are a vital piece of our bay.

Unlike many bays in Oregon, Netarts Bay is home to thriving native eelgrass beds. Eelgrass is easily impacted by humans. The introduction of invasive eelgrass species, dredging, boat activity, aquaculture techniques, and nutrient runoff from land all impact native eelgrass populations. Dr. D’Andrea will discuss these amazing aquatic plants, threats to them, impacts from the loss of eelgrass beds in estuaries, and how Netarts Bay populations are changing.

Tony D'Andrea is Shellfish Assessment Project Leader with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. He will discuss the work of ODFW's Shellfish & Estuarine Assessment of Coastal Oregon (SEACOR). SEACOR conducts field surveys of Oregon estuaries to assess bay clam populations, map estuarine habitats, and inform the public of the findings. Results of these surveys have been used to manage bay clam fisheries, update estuarine inventories of important habitats such as native eelgrass (Zostera marina), and to better understand bay clam ecology and habitat requirements.

To register for the event, go here.