Eelgrass is an important component of the ecosystem of the Miramichi Bay/Burnt Church river. It serves as shelter and food for a wide variety of fishes, crustaceans and shellfish. In addition, this marine plant helps filter the water column and stabilize sediment, thereby creating a buffer zone between land and water.
Since 2020, the Esgenoôpetitj Watershed Association has established one eelgrass monitoring area in the Miramichi Bay. We use protocols established by SeagrassNet as part of a worldwide study.
SeagrassNet is an ecological monitoring program that investigates and documents the status of seagrass resources and the threats to this important and imperiled marine ecosystem. The program was launched in 2001 in the Western Pacific and now includes more than 126 sites in 33 countries, with a global monitoring protocol and web-based data reporting systems.
The study area in the Esgenoôpetitj Watershed will help determine if there are changes in the eelgrass bed over the long term. This project is coordinated by the Southern Gulf of Saint Lawrence Coalition on Sustainability as part of Atlantic Eelgrass Monitoring Consortium in partnership with the Tabusintac Watershed Association and The Miramichi Environmental Assessment Committee.