Seagrass Area by Zone

In 2013, the Chesapeake Bay Program and the Seagrass Monitoring Program at VIMS began to categorize seagrass abundance in Chesapeake Bay using 4 different salinity zones: tidal fresh, slightly salty (oligohaline), moderately salty (mesohaline), and full salinity (polyhaline). Each zone encompasses an underwater grass community that responds similarly to storms, drought, and other growing conditions. Categorizing seagrass coverage by salinity zones makes it easier for scientists to connect changes in grass communities with changes in growing conditions through time.