Both naturally occurring and restored eelgrass beds need a communal effort to survive and coexist with humans. Below is a list of simple actions you can take to lessen the human impact on eelgrass growth and survival.
Anchor outside of eelgrass beds
Avoid boating in areas with eelgrass beds when possible
Remain within marked channels
Slow down in shallow areas and obey “no wake” zones
Trim the engine up in shallow water to lessen the effect of propeller wash on the bottom
Use shore based restrooms and pumpout facilities
Avoid using clam rakes and tongs in areas where eelgrass grows. Think of eelgrass beds as natural spawner sanctuaries. If you do uproot a tuft of eelgrass, putting it back roots down may enable it to re-establish.
If dredging for bay scallops, be sure the dredge is rigged and working properly to avoid uprooting eelgrass
During Daily Activities…
Keep trash and pollutants out of the estuary. Never pour chemicals into storm drains, because ultimately they will end up in the bay or sound. Clean up oil and fuel spills before they get into the water. Recycle used oil, filters, batteries and antifreeze.
Use fertilizers and pesticides properly on your lawn. Check manufacturer’s directions or consult local environmental organizations (i.e. DEC). When possible, opt for environmentally friendly alternatives.
Wash your car on your lawn or at a car wash. When you wash your car in your driveway, the excess soap can end up running down storm drains and ultimately in our local waterways.
Finally, and most importantly, EDUCATE fellow boaters and home owners about the need for eelgrass in our estuary and the simple ways in which we can help the plight of eelgrass in our community waters.