Training session prepares area scientists for seagrass surveys
Tampa Bay Estuary Program staffers Gary Raulerson and Maya Burke led an annual hands-on training session in July for Tampa Bay environmental scientists, in the shallow flats near Lassing Park in St. Pete.
Participants from a variety of agencies and organizations practiced techniques for measuring seagrass abundance, density and health. The scientists are using a standardized method that ensures that all the data they collect about the bay's seagrasses will be consistent and accurate. They'll be collecting seagrass info this fall from about 60 different locations in Tampa Bay.
The transect monitoring provides a fine-scale snapshot of seagrass health annually, while baywide aerial photography coordinated by the Southwest Florida Water Management District every two years gives an overall tally of seagrass acreage and distribution. Combined, the two monitoring efforts present a comprehensive portrait of this key indicator of the bay's condition.
In this short video, Gary Raulerson explains the training basics.