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Abstract Detail

Physiological Section

Thorhaug, Anitra [1], Belaire, Charles [2], Oerke, Andrew [3], Berlyn, Graeme [4].

Seagrass Restoration in Texas estuaries: Successful long-term sustained restored meadows.

Texas has lost minimally 70% of its seagrasses, leaving 95,101 ha in Texas estuaries of which 74,867 ha existing in Laguna Madre ( Texas General Land Office). Texas has the fourth longest coast line in the lower 48 states. Globally, seagrass loss is accelerating at 7%/y and loss is estimated at 51,000 km2 (Waycott et al.2009) or 5,100,000 ha. The Gulf of Mexico seagrass has diminished significantly which now is estimated by NOAA to presently include 418,490 ha acres (Florida), 57 ha (Alabama), 250 ha (Mississippi) and less than 2500 ha (Louisiana)(NOAA). Conservation is cost-effective but clearly not working to sustain seagrass meadows. A solution to accelerating loss is seagrass restoration. In Texas estuaries, the authors have restored a combined amount of more than 164.926 ha certified by government plus tests plots with expansion of these restored and sustained meadows to over 200 ha. Success varied between 94% and 50 % per site, dependent on many factors. Various methodologies were utilized in restoring of Halodule wrightii and Halophila sp.. We also planted Ruppia maritima and Belaire planted Syringodium filiforme. Observations on these restored meadows were carried out more than 10 y including persistence coalescence, abundance, and health. The mature beds' ecosystem services including fish, invertebrate and bird recolonization, sediment accumulation and stabilization and carbon sequestration returned. Halodule tolerated an existing series of pollutants better than the expanding populations found naturally of Syringodium. Genuses (Halophila sp.) tolerating high salinity variations also tolerated large light intensity variations, which occurred from high and regular wind events. Existing pollutants in the restored areas included: dredge and fill, sewage, heat, nutrient, and chemical additions, salinity, depth, and flow alterations through channelization and land fill , and rock mining and agricultural inputs through riverine inputs.

Broader Impacts:

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1 - Yale University, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, 370 Prospect St. , New Haven , Ct., 06511, USA
2 - Belaire inc. , Rockport , Tx, usa
3 - Institute of Seagrass & Greater Caribbean Energy & Environment Foundat, 4245 willow springs Road , Burton, tx, 77835, usa
4 - Yale University, School of Foresty & Evironmental Studies, GREELEY LAB-370 PROSPECT ST, NEW HAVEN, CT, 06511, USA

Seagrass restoration
Halodule wrightii
pollution responses
sustainability of seagrass
loss of seagrass
expansion restored seagrass.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 17
Location: Newberry/Riverside Hilton
Date: Tuesday, July 30th, 2013
Time: 8:30 AM
Number: 17001
Abstract ID:95
Candidate for Awards:None

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