The words alone inspire thoughts of warm sunny days, family vacations, and (for most of us Floridians) lazy days on the water. When you picture these thoughts in your mind, most likely, an abundance of lush greenery surrounds you. We imagine the same with one small difference, the greenery we imagine is underwater!

Eelgrass in the Summer.

Something amazing happens as the sun begins to beat down and spread its warmth across our natural waterways. Winter and spring usually beckons questions asking where the grass went. Summertime however, brings pictures, videos, and comments like “OMG! This is absolutely beautiful!”. As with most plant life, our Rockstar eelgrass thrives off the warmth produced in the summertime and as spectators we get to watch it flourish and grow like crazy!!!

Manatee Covered in grass - Credit Bree LaJoie

Full grown manatee almost completely submerged in eelgrass. (Photo Credit: Bree LaJoie)

Life Flourishes in Growing Grass.

Not only do our resident and visiting manatees enjoy the lush eelgrass, but many other aquatic species find a home in the native grasses. Striped mullet, bluegill, Atlantic needlefish, spotted sunfish, and snook have all been observed in increasing numbers in restored areas. Also an abundance of juvenile largemouth bass has also been noted, which is an excellent sign of increased reproduction in restored areas.

What to expect next.

Unfortunately Summer can’t last forever. So what can we expect from our eelgrass next? Believe it or not, it actually gets more exciting!! Fall brings us flowering season! Spiral tendrils will begin to form with pretty little white flowers. The video below shows our eelgrass during a past flowering season (check out all those oxygen bubbles too!).

Ensure the future

The natural beauty is beginning to resurface and that is VERY exciting. It is important, though, that we maintain it. How ever inconvenient changing your anchoring system may be, or avoiding fertilizer and hebicide, it’s important to remember that these factors are part of what got us here in the first place.

Together we can Save Crystal River!

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