100% of every dollar you donate to Nile Creek Enhancement Society is used for the enhancement, protection and maintenance of habitat for salmon and their ecosystems.


 

Eelgrass Project

Eelgrass Habitat

eel lowThe complex and intricate food webs of an eelgrass meadow rival the world’s richest farmlands and tropical rainforests. From an unstructured muddy/sandy bottom grows a pattern of leaves that supply nutrients to fish, shellfish, waterfowl and about 124 species of invertebrates.

EGGS EELGRASS

Herring Eggs

Native eelgrass (Zostera marina) plants retain their leaves year-round.  Animals living in this meadow, such as juvenile salmon, young herring, nudibranchs, anemones, jellyfish, clams, scallops, shrimp, spider, red rock and dungeness crabs, sea stars, moon snails, sand dollars and others, find protection and food. It provides a habitat for spawning and a nursery for rearing young fish and invertebrates.

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Red Rock Crab

The extensive root system of the plants helps stabilize sediments and prevent erosion along the BC coastline. Damage to eelgrass can affect an entire ecosystem, as well as the stability of our shorelines.

Salmon Fry in Eelgrass Beds

Salmon Fry

As the majority of the earth’s population now lives within 10% of land defined as “coastal”, this increase has caused the destruction of approximately 215,000,000 acres of estuarine habitat worldwide.  In the Georgia Strait, alone, it is estimated at 18%.


For the survival of our salmon, protection of the eelgrass habitat is as important as the kelp beds, the rivers and the forests.  It ensures that these interconnected ecosystems continue to support the salmon that are so vital to us.

Project:

Measuring Beds

As part of a network of groups along both sides of the Strait of Georgia from Victoria to Haida Gwaii belonging to the Seagrass Conservation Working Group, a part of Seachange Marine Conservation Society, we map our local eelgrass beds each year to monitor their growth or decline. Counting ShootsWe observe, photograph and identify the various species of fish and invertebrates that live, spawn and graze the beds at various times during the year. This allows us to monitor the high, ecological value of the eelgrass habitat, including its use by juvenile salmon.

Resources:

Three Year Plan SCWG-Background Document
Eelgrass Conservation for the B.C. Coast
Eelgrass Factsheet
Strategy for Eelgrass Restoration in BC

Methods for Mapping and Monitoring Eelgrass Habitat in B.C.
Eelgrass Mapping Manual

 

 

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