National Park Service

Gulf Coast Network (GULN)

Seagrass Monitoring

Seagrass ecosystems are highly productive Seagrass at Padre Island National Seashore, Nine-Mile hole

GULN Reports and Data Products


Long-term seagrass monitoring commenced in August 2011 at PAIS and GUIS. Field crews (working under Task Agreements through the Gulf Coast CESU) from University of Texas Marine Science Institute (PAIS) and Dauphin Island Sea Lab (GUIS) initiated a protocol developed by the USGS and implemented throughout the Northeast Coastal and Barrier Network (NCBN). The protocol is based on seagrass metrics (species composition, canopy height, percent coverage) and water quality measures (temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, salinity, turbidity, chlorophyll-A, and Secchi depth).

A tessellated hexagon net (750 m edges) is draped over the sampling frame (mapped seagrass beds within park waters) and a random point is generated for each hexagon which serves as a permanent station that will be occupied (within 10 m) each year for repeated monitoring. This protocol now provides monitoring conformity throughout Texas seagrass beds (NOAA and the Texas General Land Office have funded monitoring on most non-park beds), the GULN parks, and the parks of the NCBN.

Parks to be Monitored

  • Gulf Island National Seashore (GUIS)
  • Padre Island National Seashore (PAIS)


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Last Updated: May 17, 2017 Contact Webmaster