Bay Grass Restoration in Chesapeake Bay
Chesapeake Bay has historically supported extensive bay grass (underwater grasses) meadows (>75,000 ha). However, water quality degradation from increased sediment and nutrient inputs has reduced the areal coverage and depth penetration of bay grasses, with one third of historical distributions remaining (21,648 ha; 1985-2004 mean). Chesapeake Bay underwater grasses are comprised of a variety of freshwater, brackish, and marine species. These various species form different communities, largely related to salinity, which have different environmental factors limiting their effective restoration.