Project Description

Eelgrass blades (Zostera marina) are supporting this kelp crab as it rests near the ocean floor.  Eelgrass sustains a large population of snails and other small slow moving invertebrates that may be a good food source for a hungry kelp crab over winter months, when its summer diet of kelp is gone.  Eelgrass beds provide a sheltered area for Pacific herring (Clupea pallasii) to spawn, and kelp crabs are common predators of their eggs.  Eelgrass blades can grow to around 6.6 feet (2 m) long, and this seagrass has a range on the west coast from Alaska to northern Mexico.