Restoration in the Virginia Coastal Bays has been very successful. In an area of South Bay that is set aside as a reserve for seagrass restoration, about 200 acres were planted using the seed broadcasting method during 2000 - 2002. Those plants have survived and expanded dramatically. Currently, over 1400 acres in the immediate area are covered with seagrasses. In 2006 and 2007, in a nearby area of Hog Island Bay seeds were broadcast in a new reserve in the hopes that plants will thrive there as well.

One reason for the success of this restoration is very good water quality. The VA Eastern Shore is not heavily populated and there is not a lot of human impact and pollution. Though the area is farmed, much of the fertilizer nutrients are intercepted by the forested buffer before entering the bays. This is in contrast to the Chesapeake Bay, which is surrounded by large cities as well as farms, where the water quality is often poor and seagrass restoration has not been as successful.

Scientists are not only attempting to plant seagrass but they are also studying the changes that occur when seagrass comes back. These include how the seagrasses increase water quality and provide habitat for many marine creatures.

For more detail, please check out: Orth, RJ, ML Lukenbach, SR Marion, KA Moore, DJ Wilcox (2006). Seagrass Recovery in the Delmarva Coastal Bays, USA. Aquatic Botany 84: 26-36.

Link: Virginia Coastal Bays seagrass restoration