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Help CCE Marine’s Habitat Team restore eelgrass meadows by weaving living eelgrass shoots into burlap “tortillas” for transplanting!

Shelter Island Town has provided Cornell Cooperative Extension Marine Program with funds through a CPF Water Quality Improvement grant to conduct extensive shellfish and eelgrass restoration in Town waters and we need your help!

Join us at our upcoming Marine Meadows Workshop from 10AM-12PM, on 11/4/23 at Sylvester Manor, where we will be bringing adult eelgrass shoots to shore for processing into our biodegradable burlap planting units.  Once stocked, these eelgrass “tortillas” will be planted at our restoration sites by CCE Marine’s
Dive Team where they will provide essential habitat for finfish and shellfish, help improve water quality and coastal resiliency of our shorelines.

About CCE’s Marine Meadows Program: The main purpose of the CCE Eelgrass Program is to restore and monitor eelgrass, our dominant local seagrass species. Eelgrass meadows provide essential habitat for many species of finfish and shellfish during part or all stages of life. Due to the structure and protection they provide, eelgrass meadows are the most biodiverse marine habitats in our region. These meadows also help to prevent or lessen erosion from storm events and help control turbidity by slowing currents and
settling particulates from the water column. Eelgrass meadows also capture excess nutrients, such as nitrogen, and sequester carbon to combat ocean acidification and climate change. Unfortunately, eelgrass populations have declined dramatically over the past 75 years due to many reasons, and without our help, will not likely make a comeback in the near future as there are no ready sources of propagules (seeds or adult shoots) to naturally vegetate these areas. This situation is called propagule limitation and it is the basis for
our restoration work. The more seeding and planting we can do, the better the outcome for our local marine meadows, so we encourage you to get involved by participating in our workshops and contributing to these important efforts.

Learn
more about our Shelter Island Stewardship Fund here: https://backtothebays.org/shelterisland

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