Aerial and Field SAV Observations

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Underwater grasses in Chesapeake Bay continue record growth

April 25th, 2018 by admin · No Comments

Third straight year with record acreage capped by first-ever 100,000+ acre total
An annual survey led by researchers at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science mapped an estimated 104,843 acres of underwater grasses in Chesapeake Bay in 2017, the highest amount ever recorded and the third consecutive year of record-breaking abundance.

It is also the first time in the history of VIMS’ SAV Monitoring and Restoration Program—established in 1979—that the total abundance of this critical habitat has surpassed 100,000 acres. SAV stands for submerged aquatic vegetation.

The 2017 total is 14,843 acres greater than the Chesapeake Bay Program’s 2017 restoration target and 57 percent of the ultimate restoration goal adopted in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement. Notably, a 5 percent increase in underwater grass abundance was observed just from 2016 to 2017.

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