In 2012, the Raincoast Education Society commissioned a State of the Eelgrass Report for Clayoquot Sound, compiling all eelgrass research, monitoring and mapping projects in the region between 1974 and 2012. The report suggested the major knowledge gap of the region is related to the lack of understanding of the distribution and health of eelgrass habitats.
Loss of eelgrass beds can have serious impacts on coastal ecosystems, including declines in commercial fisheries and migratory waterfowl populations. Further, eelgrass is essential foraging habitat for the Pacific Great Blue Heron (Ardea Herodias fannini), a provincially blue-listed species.
This Eelgrass program, led by the Raincoast Education Society, and in partnership with Parks Canada, Nature Trust of BC, Strawberry Isle Marine Research Society, Simon Fraser University, and local residents, continues mapping and monitoring eelgrass in the Tofino Mudflats Wildlife Management Area and empowering youth through the participation in outdoor, conservation-based science.
Click here for a pdf of Eelgrass monitoring and research in Clayoquot Sound - 2013 Osborne & Olive