Date of Award

Winter 2008

Project Type


Program or Major

Natural Resources

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Fred Short


Eelgrass monitoring efforts in the Great Bay Estuary (GBE), New Hampshire and Maine, by the New Hampshire Port Authority Mitigation Project (Chp. II) and Nutrient Pollution Indicator (NPI) testing (Chp. III) both confirmed a recent trend of eelgrass decline within the GBE. The decline has been most noticeable in the mid-estuary, where four major tributaries drain into the GBE. Eelgrass beds in proximity to Portsmouth's wastewater treatment facility have also experienced decline, highlighting the effects of such point sources on the eelgrass population.

In an effort to introduce eelgrass, its recent decline and its role in the ecology of the GBE to students in the community, an eelgrass lesson plan was created for local fifth graders (Chp. IV). The experiential lesson was conducted through an outreach event hosted at University of New Hampshire's Jackson Estuarine Laboratory, sharing research with the local community.