2019 Mayne Island Eelgrass SurveyTue 16 July 2019 by Tom Lightfoot in News
This year's survey was July 13 to 14 in Gallagher Bay. It was our fourth time surveying this particular bay since 2009. We had only five divers this time around but the great visibility this year more than made up for our small numbers.
Working in three teams, we were able to cover almost all of Gallagher Bay and most of a large spur between Gallagher Bay and Piggott Bay in the first day. On the second day we did five video transects, a remaining shallow portion of Gallagher Bay and all of nearby Piggott Bay.
Some observations from the weekend:
- Good visibility can make a huge difference in our ability to do effective surveying
- A team of one diver to one kayak can be more effective than a two-diver team
- For video transects, it's nice to have a safety diver on top to make sure you recover okay
- It is hard to distinguish whether year-to-year differences in the mapping data are actual changes or measurement variability due to visibility or team experience.
Big thanks to our divers, Peter, Smail, Tony, Braydon and Tom, and to our kayakers from the Mayne Island Conservancy, Rob, Jill and Andrew. Rob kept us organized and managed the data and Jill made sure that we were well fed.
Next year's survey is presumably Miner's Bay in June. This is a huge area and it's in Active Pass, so we'll need at least six divers even if we do go to smaller teams.
For Rob, here are the transect videos collected on Sunday, July 14: