There are many reasons submerged aquatic vegetation, often called SAV, are vital. SAV is a producer in the Bay's food web. This means SAV uses the sun's light to make food through a process called photosynthesis. SAV also produce oxygen as a by-product of photosynthesis. Waterfowl eat the seeds and roots of SAV while microscopic animals called zooplankton live on decaying SAV.
SAV also filter and trap sediment which could make the water cloudy. SAV beds slow down the motion of waves which helps to protect the shoreline. Finally, these grass beds are hiding places for small fish trying to escape larger predators and for soft crabs waiting for their shells to harden.
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