about south river federation

A few days before we took to the water for our weekly monitoring expedition, Jesse Iliff, our Riverkeeper, received an email notifying him about an explosion of underwater grass growth. The email came from Bud Pezet, a Limehouse Cove resident of about nine years. He told us that this was the first time in a long while that he remembered seeing Horned Pondweed in the cove.

Even so, he stated that he had never seen it as established as this year’s population.  The abundance of underwater grasses has plummeted in recent history. While 552 acres of underwater grasses could be found in the South River in 1952, last year’s underwater grass survey team only found 1% of this total. However, Bud was not exaggerating; pondweed looked to have taken over the cove.

While this specific species of underwater grass has a relatively short life span, only lasting from April until June, we hope that its growth serves as an indicator for satisfactory environmental conditions for other species of underwater grasses which normally take root later in the season.  Last week, the Federation and a few dedicated volunteers embarked on another underwater grass survey to assess the abundance of the grasses. We found a number of moderately to highly dense patches of pondweed and even some Eurasian Watermilfoil as well!

Bud seemed thrilled about seeing the grasses. We were even able to convince him and his partner, Fae Daniels, to pose with some of the strands we took for closer examination (unfortunately, I had the camera on the wrong setting and was not able to get a good photo). Bud expressed his appreciation for the grass-created habitat, which supports the wildlife of the river, explaining that he enjoys being able to “sit out here [on the pier overlooking the cove] in the evening at sunset and watch the changing colors, listen to the fish jump, and watch osprey go by with their catch. They [the osprey] like to sit up here by this big tree and eat their dinner or scout out their next dinner.”

Thanks for sharing, Bud!