US Army Corps of Engineers | Engineer Research and Development Center | | Environmental Laboratory

Program Information

    Worldwide, submerged aquatic vegetation populations have been declining. The major benefits of large-scale SAV restoration include overall improvements in ecosystem health, higher levels of ecosystem functions, and increased habitat availability for critical fisheries resources. State-of-the-art technical standards and guidance for planning, implementation, and monitoring of submerged aquatic vegetation restoration projects will provide resource managers with the necessary tools to help meet targeted SAV restoration goals. The research and technology demonstrations accomplished under this program will contribute to improved success rates and predictability for submerged aquatic vegetation restoration projects, not only in the Chesapeake Bay region, but in other areas that have experienced loss of SAV habitat.

    Program Coordination
    ERDC will identify and solicit insights and expectations from its internal and external stakeholders. These stakeholders include other federal and state agencies, academia, and non-government organizations that have an interest in Chesapeake Bay habitat restoration. A Cooperative Research Agreement is being developed between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Maryland Department of Natural Resources to assist in the execution of demonstration projects and assure a source of seed material for future planting efforts.

    Program Focus
    In the past, SAV restoration efforts typically used whole plants collected from the wild, rather than seeds or commercially propagated plants. Major limitations of this approach include availability of suitable donor sites and concerns regarding impacts and recovery rates of donor sites following plant harvest. Therefore, issues related to plant supply and propagation, and planting efforts involving use of seeds or seedlings will be important components of this program. The initial focus area of the program will be entitled "Innovative Technologies for SAV Production and Planting." Within this focus area, the six major research topics identified in the initial meeting (in order of priority) are:

    1. Issues related to plant supply and propagation (ACTION 3.2 in CB SAV STRATEGY).
    2. Evaluating new equipment/techniques for SAV planting.
    3. Use of seeds/seedlings as planting material.
    4. Improving site selection criteria.
      • Habitat requirements other than light (ie. sediments, wave energy).
    5. Seedbank and propagule dynamics.
    6. Role of interspecific competition in restoration success.


Updated: May 2016
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