Bennett Bay, Mayne Island Eelgrass Survey

Our first eelgrass survey on Mayne Island was a big success. We had a full crew, the weather and hospitality were fabulous and we accomplished all of our primary and secondary objectives for the weekend.

Our dive team consisted of Tom Lightfoot, Greg Fee, Peter Pazdera, Mark Comeau, Annette Spreeuw, Jill Yoneda and Andrew Hogan. We were joined by some local kayakers, including Leanna Boyer, the project leader from the Mayne Island Conservancy Society. Both of our survey sessions were in Bennett Bay, which is on the east side of the island. Unlike all of our previous surveys, our primary job was to do density counts in the middle of the eelgrass bed. We surveyed a 60m transect line each day with ~25 to 30 density counts and measurements on each. We set the line at ~4m on the Saturday and at ~2m on Sunday. Pretty easy depths but lots of up and down. It was surprisingly difficult to find our lines and quadrats in the 0.5 to 1m visibility.

Our secondary objective was to map the perimeter of the eelgrass bed. Peter and Mark were our dedicated mappers and with the assistance of a kayker holding a GPS, they were able to map out the entire bay over the two days. Leanna has provided the waypoints for the outline of the eelgrass bed and they can be viewed on the map below.

There's a photo gallery of the weekend if anyone else wants to contribute their own photos.

View Bennett Bay, Mayne Island in a larger map

Our next Mayne Island weekend is on the June 20/21 weekend.

Big thanks to our divers for contributing their time to a good cause and to the Mayne Island Conservancy for giving us the opportunity to help.