Standardized monitoring protocols to enable eelgrass beds to be assessed based on ecological functioning

Posted August 4, 2023

SCCWRP has completed development of a set of standardized assessment protocols for assessing the health of eelgrass beds based on their ecological functioning.

Development of the eelgrass beds monitoring SOPs (standard operating procedures) – completed in June – will enable managers to take a consistent, bioassessment-based approach to evaluating the ability of this ecologically fragile habitat to provide refugia to fish and other animals, as well as attenuate ocean waves and sequester carbon.

Researchers developed the SOPs by reviewing existing assessment protocols already in use by disparate agencies and programs, working to identify field and laboratory best practices.

These new SOPs will be applied in ongoing regional monitoring programs for eelgrass, including the Regional Eelgrass Survey of Condition and Quality (RESCQ) and the 2023 cycle of the Southern California Bight Regional Monitoring Program.

In a separate but parallel development, researchers also have developed a modeling tool for predicting where along Southern California’s coastline eelgrass beds are most likely to survive and thrive.

More news related to: Bioassessment, Regional Monitoring