Brooke Landry of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) shows Choptank Riverkeeper Matthew Pluta and Chesapeake Conservation Corps intern Keitasha Royal how to survey underwater grasses along the Choptank River on Monday.
The project is part of a collaboration with DNR and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, through which the Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy is working to study and map local underwater grass beds. Volunteers can use their own kayaks and canoes to monitor the location, health and species of underwater grasses growing throughout the Midshore region’s shallow waters, including the Choptank River. Combining that data with other survey sources helps scientists at DNR and VIMS track the status of underwater grasses throughout the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.
As part of a similar effort, Chesapeake Commons—with funding from the Chesapeake Bay Program—recently expanded its Water Reporter app to allow citizen scientists to report when they see underwater grasses. Anyone with a smartphone can download the app, join the Chesapeake Bay SAV Watchers group and help monitor underwater grasses—whenever and wherever they are on the water.
Learn more about our partners’ work to restore underwater grasses.