About Our Program

Program History

The Marine Meadows Program, developed in spring of 2011, is the newest component of Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Eelgrass Program (www.seagrassli.org).  Through this initiative, participants are given the opportunity to learn about the biology and importance of eelgrass while participating in unique hands-on restoration efforts.  Thanks to an innovative planting method developed by CCE staff, land-based volunteers can get their hands wet while playing a vital role in creating new eelgrass meadows.  In the past, this type of work was limited to SCUBA divers and other highly trained Cornell staff, but now everyone from school children to adults can get involved in a meaningful way! 

Marine Meadows Workshops

The primary driving force behind the Marine Meadows Program are the outreach workshops that we offer throughout the region.  The mobile nature of these workshops allows us to offer them at nearly any location, regardless of its proximity to the coast.  CCE staff bring all the necessary supplies, including eelgrass shoots (that are collected in advance of the workshop), tables, seawater and other materials necessary to the site of the workshop. As part of the workshop, participants are  trained how to weave eelgrass shoots into biodegradable burlap planting discs or “tortillas”.  Once assembled, stocked tortillas are transported to a preselected restoration site and planted by CCE SCUBA divers.  If everything goes as planned, these plantings will result in a new and persistent “marine meadow” that provides essential fish habitat, prevents erosion and helps to keep our waters clear of sediments. View our upcoming workshops here. 

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