Submerged aquatic vegetation is an important part of the Northwest Florida ecosystem. It is defined as any combination of seagrasses and algae that covers 10 to 100 percent of the riverbottom. Many of these plant species grow in underwater environments, which, sadly are poor and declining in this region. Various factors influence whether the submerged aquatic vegetation is healthy light availability water temperature, salinity sediment composition, nutrient levels, wave energy and tidal range. Seagrass communities are highly productive ecosystems that host thousands of species of flora and fauna. Pollution is one of the main threats to this ecosystem, but boat wakes, boat groundings, propeller scarring, coastal construction, and dredging and filling also
disrupt these natural habitats. A survey of the submerged vegetation was conducted by the Center for Environmental Diagnostics and Bioremediation at the University of West Florida in 2007 with the goal to reclaim, protect, preserve and restore portions of the Blackwater River ecosystem.
Center: Aquatic plants along the Blackwater River
Right, top: Freshwater marsh, Blackwater River, Bagdad
Right, middle: Shoreline Bagdad Boat Ramp
Right, bottom: Well vegetated stream bank along Juniper Creek