Learn about underwater bay grasses, also known as submerged aquatic vegetation or SAV. Bay grasses provide food and refuge for blue crabs, striped bass, and many other Bay organisms, but are under threat from cloudy waters and rising temperatures. For a more detailed look at SAV research and restoration activities, visit our SAV Program, the center of SAV science at VIMS.
- Abundance of Chesapeake Bay’s underwater grasses rises 21% (April 2016) VIMS-led survey shows that bay-grass coverage increased between 2014 and 2015 from 75,835 to 91,621 acres, the highest total of the last three decades.
- Worldwide experiment shows small-animal diversity benefits seagrass meadows (May 2015) Unprecedented experiment conducted simultaneously at 15 sites shows algae-eating invertebrates control seaweeds that can smother seagrasses, and that more diverse animal communities perform this custodial service more effectively.
- VIMS student, prof aid in evaluation of global seagrass status (January 2015) VIMS graduate student Emily French and her advisor VIMS Professor Kenneth Moore helped the Seagrass Species Specialist Group confirm the alarming loss of seagrass during the 11th International Seagrass Biology Workshop in Sanya, China.
- Abundance of Chesapeake Bay’s underwater grasses rises 24% (April 2014) VIMS-led survey shows that bay-grass coverage increased from 48,195 to 59,927 acres, reversing the downward trend of the previous 3 years.
- VIMS prof briefs Congress on “splendors” of seagrass (March 2014) Professor Robert “JJ” Orth describes success of eelgrass restoration on Virginia's Eastern Shore during “Coast Day” on Capitol Hill.
Advisory Service Reports
- Historical analysis of SAV in the Potomac River and Analysis of Bay-wide Historic SAV to establish a New Acreage Goal. K. A. Moore, D. J. Wilcox, B. Anderson, T. A. Parham, and M. D. Naylor. Report to EPA Chesapeake Bay Program. April 2004.
- Analysis of Historical Distribution of SAV in the Eastern Shore Coastal Basins and Mid-Bay Island Complexes as Evidence of Historical Water Quality Conditions and a Restored Bay Ecosystem. K. A. Moore, D. J. Wilcox, B. Anderson, R. J. Orth. Report to EPA Chesapeake Bay Program. April 2003.
- Causes of Submerged Aquatic Vegetation Declines in Tangier Sound, Chesapeake Bay. R. Orth, K. Moore, J. Fishman, D. Wilcox, L. Karrh, and T. Parham. Report to EPA Chesapeake Bay Program. December 2002.
- Analysis of historical distribution of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) in the York and Rappahannock rivers as evidence of historical water quality conditions. K. A. Moore, D. J. Wilcox, B. Anderson, R. J. Orth. Report to EPA Chesapeake Bay Program. November 2001.
Five Most Recent Journal Articles
- Sobocinski, K.L. and R.J. Latour, 2015. Trophic transfer in seagrass systems: estimating seasonal production of an abundant seagrass fish, Bairdiella chrysoura, in lower Chesapeake Bay. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 523: p. 157-174. http://doi.org/10.3354/meps11163
- Jarvis, J.C. and K.A. Moore, 2015. Effects of seed source, sediment type, and burial depth on mixed-nnual and perennial Zostera marina L. seed germination and seedling establishment. Estuaries and Coasts, 38(3): p. 964-978. http://doi.org/10.1007/s12237-014-9869-3
- Duffy, J.E., et al., 2015. Biodiversity mediates top-down control in eelgrass ecosystems: a global comparative-experimental approach. Ecology Letters, 18(7): p. 696-705. http://doi.org/10.1111/ele.12448
- Tulipani, D.C. and R.N. Lipcius, 2014. Evidence of eelgrass (Zostera marina) seed dispersal by Northern Diamondback Terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin terrapin) in Lower Chesapeake Bay. PLOS One, 9(7). http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0103346
- Reynolds, P.L., J.P. Richardson, and J.E. Duffy, 2014. Field experimental evidence that grazers mediate transition between microalgal and seagrass dominance. Limnology and Oceanography, 59(3): p. 1053-1064. http://doi.org/10.4319/lo.2014.59.3.1053