An official website of the United States government.

This is not the current EPA website. To navigate to the current EPA website, please go to This website is historical material reflecting the EPA website as it existed on January 19, 2021. This website is no longer updated and links to external websites and some internal pages may not work. More information »


Region 1: Satellite Mapping of Eelgrass Distribution and Abundance

2020 Regional-State-Tribal Innovation Projects

Eelgrass is an important coastal resource that provides a wide range of ecological services. To manage this resource, many states map the spatial distribution of eelgrass meadows using aerial photography with minimal ground truthing. This approach can be expensive and doesn’t provide timely information, especially for states with extensive coastlines.

This project will demonstrate the use of satellite imagery to map eelgrass distribution, forecast abundance, and estimate primary production during summer and early fall growing seasons for select estuaries in Maine and Massachusetts. Results will reduce the cost of mapping the geographic distribution of eelgrass meadows and expand the existing eelgrass mapping program conducted by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The project will also provide Maine DEP, which does not have an eelgrass mapping program, with valuable baseline information and an opportunity to use remote sensing as a monitoring tool.

Partners: Maine Department of Environmental Protection, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection