See also: "Eelgrass/Macroalgae Discussion Primer for TAC Activities 2016-2017" http://scholars.unh.edu/prep/355
Eelgrass (Zostera marina L.) is an essential habitat for the Great Bay Estuary (GBE) because it is the basis of an estuarine food web that supports many of the recreationally, commercially and ecologically important species in the estuary and beyond. Eelgrass provides food for ducks, geese and swans, as well as food, nursery habitat, and shelter for juvenile fish and shellfish. Eelgrass filters estuarine waters and improves water clarity, removing both nutrients and suspended sediments from the water column; its roots and rhizomes bind and hold sediments in place, thereby reducing turbidity. Historically, eelgrass has been the primary habitat in the Great Bay Estuary, for many decades covering the most area of any of the three major habitats: eelgrass, salt marsh, and mud flat. Eelgrass in the Great Bay Estuary is a vital resource to the State of New Hampshire’s marine environment, and eelgrass habitat is essential to the health of the estuary (Trowbridge 2006, Short 2014). The present report describes and interprets the eelgrass distribution, percent cover and biomass data collected in 2014 for the Great Bay Estuary. The report was written for the Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership (PREP), and covers the entire Great Bay Estuary, from the Atlantic Coast to the Great Bay, and including the estuarine portions of the tributaries.
Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership
Short, Frederick T., "Eelgrass Distribution in the Great Bay Estuary for 2014" (2016). PREP Publications. 352.