"The health of Mannion Bay is closely tied to the health of its eelgrass," Bob Turner explains in his latest short film, Restoring our Eelgrass.
In his latest piece, the local amateur filmmaker documents the eelgrass survey and transplant in Deep Bay, part of the SeaChange Marine Conservation Society-funded Salish Sea Nearshore Habitat Recovery Project.
Eelgrass, shallow water plants evolved from land-based ancestors, provide critical habitat for fish, invertebrates and birds as well as carbon sequestration. Deep (Mannion) Bay has some healthy meadows on one side of the estuary but closer to the Terminal Creek outflow, the eelgrass is less healthy and more fragmented.
In the film, Turner meets up with the SeaChange research crew in 2019, as they're considering the bay as a candidate for eelgrass transplant and then joins Bowen volunteers and SeaChange leaders in September 2020 – amid a pandemic and smokey skies – to carry out the transplant.
See for yourself the striking contrast of a sandy, stark, anchor-dragged bottom and the teeming life of an eelgrass meadow in Restoring our Eelgrass.