New York

Saving Our Underwater Meadows

Latest News about Eelgrass

What happens when our underwater meadows vanish? One of the most important habitats underneath Long Island's beaches and bays is seagrass. Critical to the life cycle and development of shrimp, scallops, fish, and waterfowl, these meadows are teeming with life. Seagrass also filters pollution and guards against shoreline erosion by buffering the impacts of wave energy and storm surges. But in some areas, seagrass is disappearing at an alarming rate. Altered water quality, brown tide, coastal development, boat traffic, and harmful fishing practices are all to blame.

Without these extensive underwater prairies, this bountiful ecosystem faces a great challenge. “The future of our fisheries and our bays will be greatly influenced by the health of Long Island’s seagrass meadows,” said Carl LoBue, Site Director for The Nature Conservancy on Long Island.

Keeping it Green

The Nature Conservancy understands the importance of seagrass to the health of our beaches, bays, and local communities. That's why we are:

  • Determining what contributes to the decline of our seagrass meadows, including investigating causes and prevention of brown tide; and
  • Establishing seagrass protection and restoration strategies in cooperation with state and local governments.
Get Involved

You can help restore our underwater meadows, too! Next time you're at the beach, remember to:

  • Avoid boat traffic, anchoring, and shellfishing in seagrass beds;
  • Keep septic systems far from waterways;
  • Limit use of pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers; and
  • Avoid dumping chemicals or toxins in sewers or on the ground.



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