Eel Grass Survey in Richardson BayLatest update August 9, 2019 Started on May 3, 2019
Using an ROV to study the critical eel grass in Richardson Bay.
We were able to finally line up schedules, tides, good weather and borrow a boat for our first real mission. We have done some practice driving from the dock and a lake trip but the open bay is a whole new challenge. The wind required us to throw an anchor in to stay still enough. The visibility was not so great, and driving proved to be difficult, but we got some good bay floor coverage and in one video we do see some eel grass. Not yet finding great large amounts, but we will change our area and try again.
Decima was the driver for all of this mission. She said that she had trouble staying with the interesting objects/grass we did see and she is going to work on that more.
We used the break in the weather Sunday to test our set up with the ROV this weekend. The big rains killed visibility so it was not a good time for research, but it looks like everything is working well for a whole summer of missions!
We live on the water here in Richardson Bay in Sausalito CA. Eelgrass acts as a nursery for marine animals such as herring which are dependent on eelgrass for spawning. They lay eggs on eelgrass leaves and their young are protected within the eelgrass as they mature. During low tides, eelgrass hold moisture, creating a wet habitat for smaller animals. Eelgrass extensive root structures preserve the highly productive bacteria in the sediments which nourish many invertebrates.
Our goal is to learn more about the animal interactions with eelgrass by using an ROV to make observations and report back where we see eel grass doing well, poorly and any surprising animal interactions we find.
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