Distribution of Eelgrass (Zostera marina) in Coastal Waters Adjacent to Togiak National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska

Open-File Report 2020-1080
Prepared in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
By: , and 


  • Document: Report (4.1 MB pdf)
  • Related Works:
    • OFR 2020-1035 — Abundance and distribution of eelgrass (Zostera marina) and seaweeds at Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, 2007–10
    • OFR 2020-1114 — Eelgrass (Zostera marina) and Seaweed Abundance along the Coast of Togiak National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, 2008–10
    • OFR 2020-1143 — Eelgrass (Zostera marina) and seaweed abundance along the coast of Nunivak Island, Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, 2010
    • OFR 2020-1144 — Eelgrass (Zostera marina) and seaweed assessment Alaska Peninsula-Becharof National Wildlife Refuges, 2010
    • OFR 2021-1034 — Inventory of eelgrass (Zostera marina) and seaweeds at the end of the Alaska Peninsula, August–September 2012
  • Data Releases:
    • USGS data release — Imagery and mapping data of eelgrass (Zostera marina) distribution, Alaska and Baja California, Mexico
    • USGS data release — Point sampling data for eelgrass (Zostera marina) abundance adjacent to the Togiak National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska
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Declines in the distribution and abundance of seagrasses worldwide have prompted a need for baseline distribution maps of eelgrass (Zostera marina) in Alaska. We used high-resolution digital-color aerial photography and multi-spectral satellite imagery to map the distribution and spatial extent of eelgrass at 21 sites in coastal waters adjacent to Togiak National Wildlife Refuge (TNWR) in northwestern Bristol Bay and southern Kuskokwim Bay. The total spatial extent of eelgrass meadows was estimated to be 6,489 hectare (ha) almost equally divided between Bristol Bay (3,001 ha) and Kuskokwim Bay (3,488 ha). The four largest eelgrass beds occurred in Chagvan Bay (1,933 ha), the north side of Hagemeister Island (1,168 ha), Goodnews Bay (874 ha), and Nanvak Bay (599 ha). This report provides key baseline data useful for establishing a monitoring plan to assess trends in eelgrass along the coast of TNWR.

Suggested Citation

Ward, D.H., Hogrefe, K.R., Donnelly, T.F., and Swaim, M.A., 2022, Distribution of eelgrass (Zostera marina) in coastal waters adjacent to Togiak National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2020–1080, 21 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20201080.

ISSN: 2331-1258 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Study Area
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • References Cited
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Distribution of eelgrass (Zostera marina) in coastal waters adjacent to Togiak National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 2020-1080
DOI 10.3133/ofr20201080
Year Published 2022
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Alaska Science Center Biology WTEB
Description Report: v, 21 p.; 2 Data Releases
Country United States
State Alaska
Other Geospatial Togiak National Wildlife Refuge
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details