Meet the super-plant from Nova Scotia’s shorelines: eelgrass

The carbon converter found by Owls Head protects against storms and gives fish and lobster a safe place to grow up

Mira Dietz Chiasson
The Coast
February 27, 2020

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Dive below the waves somewhere along Nova Scotia’s coastline and you might encounter a thriving ecosystem that is vitally important to our fisheries, our ways of life and our climate: An underwater eelgrass meadow.

See the play of sunlight in the meadow’s swaying underwater forest, fish darting between the blades of grass and discover other creatures feeding and clinging to the vegetation. Eelgrass may resemble a seaweed, but it’s actually a plant, complete with flowers and roots, that spends its life under the waves.

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Lily Pond

Water

“The bogs and coastal wetlands of Owl’s Head are beautiful, complex, pristine, and undervalued. Development of the site would completely, irrevocably, and utterly destroy the natural hydrology of Owl’s Head and impact surrounding marine waters.”   

—Christopher Trider

Water. We take it for granted, but it’s important. Owl’s Head has this incredible relationship with water, both on the site and with the adjacent marine areas.

The entire headland of Owls Head acts as a water recharge area. Water is held in the sloughs between the ridges, it filters through the bogs and barrens, then finds its way into the sea at various points. The drainage patterns are a complex, uncharted maze with small ponds and pools, raised bogs, and Douglas Lake. This hydrology is just another layer, another reason to protect the natural integrity of these public lands. (more…)

The Marine Side: By Kristina Boerder

Marine biologist Dr. Kristina Boerder explains that Eastern Shore marine ecosystems and salt marshes are providing “important ecosystem services” that benefit humans and nature.

  • Protection from coastal erosion
  • Providing important habitat for a multitude of species
  • Benefiting local fisheries
  • Acting as important carbon sinks (absorbing & storing carbon dioxide)
  • Providing breeding and nursery habitat for terrestrial, near-shore, and migratory birds
  • Providing “shelter, foraging, and breeding habitat for marine invertebrates, such as shrimp and crabs, and small fish”
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