Chesapeake Unscripted: What is Submerged Aquatic Vegetation

[You can say your first name if you want.] Okay. [Or make it up.] Hi, I’m Maurice. I’m Judy. George is my first name. Name’s Mike. Mike. My name is Esther. Peter. Adrienne. Help answer ques- Oh! [laughs] Okay. What– what’s your project? Oh, interesting… I have absolutely no idea. It’s, uh, grasses that grow underwater. What is submerged aquatic vegetation? Submerged aquatic vegetation… Seaweed? Algae? It’s vegetation underwater. Submerged aquatic vegetation I would presume is vegetation below the water that our crabs and other Bay life consume. Bay grasses, that type of thing. It’s vegetation which is growing at the bottom of the Bay such as various grasses, which I can’t name. Maybe there’s something called eel grass, I don’t know. Um, it is grass in which the crabs when they are soft shell are, uh, protecting themselves, and it’s, uh, vegetation that’s quite endangered from all the, uh, runoff into the Bay. [That’s a pretty great answer.] [What do you feel is the importance of Bay grasses?] I’m sure it has something significant to do with the — the overall ecosystem in the Bay. Well, I’ve been in the seafood business for a long time, so I know their relevance, especially to the Bay. I would have to say… Filtration? Like, oxygen production and sort of the– keeping the gases moving throughout the water and that all that stuff. Right? [Yeah, absolutely.] Photosynthesis? Throw out some… cells, mitochondria… whatever else I can remember…. Oh, they provide lots of nutrients to the animal life, wildlife in the Bay. Keeps the water clean. Well, just like the Bay is a huge filter for– for our water and if they’re not healthy then the whole Chesapeake Bay isn’t going to work the way it should. [And just one last question…] [For the overall health of the Bay, how do you– how do you feel about it right now and what do you feel still needs to be done?] Um… Right now, I think it’s just… It’s kind of a mess. I feel it’s being polluted and it’s being destroyed by all of us. We don’t respect it. “Save the Bay,” we don’t want– we want in our minds to save it, but we don’t really save it. We destroy it more than we save it. I know that, you know, it’s really, like, vulgar conditions that we’re doing to maintain our– our food chain and we need to rethink it and go back to the basics. I think is healthier than it used to be. Cause people are working on that, right? [laughs] Even though there are a lot of people
working hard towards a cleaner Bay, it is still going to take a conscious
effort on the part of all of us to achieve the results that we desire. Bay grasses are a critical part of a healthy underwater ecosystem. Not only do they provide habitat for
many species of fish, shellfish, and waterfowl, they also provide underwater animals with the oxygen that they need to survive. Many of the actions we take on a daily basis can affect the health of these grasses. To learn more, visit

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