Submerged Aquatic Vegetation (SAV)

The Sanctuary is monitoring underwater grasses (SAV) as part of an overall effort to learn more about these interesting and important plants. SAV are rooted aquatic plants that provide food and a home for many animals including fish, crabs, snails, ducks, and geese. SAV also make the water clearer and cleaner by trapping and absorbing pollutants, such as sediments and excess nutrients.

SAV is currently being sampled at six different locations along the Patuxent River. This effort started in 2007 and follows a modified oyster tong sampling technique, which is a suitable method for sampling large, turbid, and shallow waters when diving techniques are not practical. In addition to sampling SAV, water quality parameters (dissolved oxygen, temperature, conductivity, conductance, salinity, secchi depth) and total depth are also recorded. Sampling occurs three times a year during the growing season: June, August, and October.

Monitoring Objectives:
   1. Better understand the impacts of human and natural stressors (i.e., development, water quality, invasive species, and climate change) in SAV communities at Jug Bay.
   2. Promote the use of long-term monitoring data to manage and protect Jug Bay’s SAV communities.
   3. Promote the use of long-term monitoring data for education and stewardship purposes.

Volunteers are critical to the research conducted here. Click to get involved.