Eelgrass is actually a flowering plant, not an eel OR grass. Eel grass has dark green leaves that are 2-12mm wise and up to 100 cm long!
RANGE & HABITAT
Eelgrass grows in salt water, usually below the low tide line. You might also find eelgrass in estuaries. Eelgrass likes clear water so that it can photosynthesize well using energy from the sun’s rays!
Eeelgrass is a flowering plant. Once the flower blooms, seeds are spread by ocean currents. Eventually, they sink to the ocean floor and germinate.
Eelgrass beds are a habitat for many different plants and animals, including small invertebrates, fish and birds. Eelgrass provides important shelter for young salmon when they arrive at salty water for the first time.
TRADITIONAL USES BY INDIGENOUS PEOPLES
Some coastal Indigenous peoples eat the rhizomes (underground roots/stems) fresh or dried. The leaves can also be used to weave baskets.
Eelgrass is great for boosting soil health because it is so full of nutrients! It plays a very important role in taking carbon dioxide out of the seawater, which makes it very helpful at preventing the acidification of the water (which threatens the survival of shellfish and plankton at the bottom of the food chain).
Eelgrass feels human impacts from dredging, logging and construction. If you see an Eelgrass bed out on a walk, take care to not trample this plant.
COSEWIC: Not at Risk