Publication Detail

Adaptive Management for Impacts to Eelgrass Habitat in Gloucester Harbor

A. R Wilbur, Brandy M Wilbur, P. Colarusso
15 pp.
MITSG 07-11
$5.50 DOM / $7.50 INT

The Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management and the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology Sea Grant College Program, along with partners, led an effort to create an eelgrass
bank, raise awareness of the value of eelgrass habitat, and facilitate transplanting efforts to
Boston Harbor in the summer and fall of 2006. A planned impact to eelgrass habitat in
Gloucester Harbor warranted efforts to try to save this valuable and declining resource. This
unfortunate circumstance was used to educate interested citizens, students and teachers from
regional schools, and government employees. Methods to transplant and store eelgrass were
researched and tested in attempt to facilitate restoration of the impact area. Two community
events were organized at Pavilion Beach to harvest eelgrass from the impact area. These
events were attended by a variety of government (city, state, and federal) and non-government
employees, along with students and teachers, and attracted much attention of the citizens of
Gloucester. Eelgrass was successfully transplanted to Boston Harbor by the Massachusetts
Division of Marine Fisheries. Harvested eelgrass was also maintained in a hydroponic raft
system for three months (October-December) and used to set-up an interpretative display in a
flow-through tank at the Gloucester Maritime Heritage Center. While the harvested eelgrass
was ultimately not transplanted back to the impact corridor, experience in storing eelgrass within
hydroponic and tank systems could assist future restoration efforts. By teaming up to save the
eelgrass at Pavilion Beach in Gloucester Harbor, project partners demonstrated the advantage
of creative, adaptive, and cooperative efforts to manage coastal resources. The project was a
learning experience in adaptive management for eelgrass habitat and a success in outreach.

type: Technical reports

Parent Project

Project No.: 2005-E/E-54
Title: Developing a Classroom Eelgrass Cultivation Program for Massachusetts