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Annoying seagrass invading Newport Bay

December 12, 2010 |  8:15 am

Some call it a weed, a scourge on the bay. Others, mainly fish, can't live without it.

Eelgrass, a type of seagrass found throughout Southern California bays, lines the shore in many parts of Newport Harbor and provides refuge and food for marine life. Because of strict environmental regulations, homeowners avoid disturbing the plant. Many haven't dredged their shorelines for years, and their boats and floating docks have begun to run aground.

Trying to strike a delicate balance between the recreational and environmental value of the bay, the city is proposing a novel plan to manage eelgrass. City officials are negotiating with federal and state regulators to allow homeowners to dredge under their docks without costly mitigation. But part of the plan relies on growing the unpredictable grass in other parts of Newport Harbor using methods never tested in Southern California.

Read more at the Daily Pilot: "For humans, eelgrass not always greener."

-- Mike Reicher, Times Community News

Photo: Eelgrass grows in front of resident Seymour Beek's house on Balboa Island, shown during a minus tide. (Times Community News)

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