• Atlantic Ocean beach at Cape Cod National Seashore

    Cape Cod

    National Seashore Massachusetts

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  • Access at seashore locations

    The stairs at Nauset Light Beach in Eastham are closed due to storm damage. Herring Cove North Lot in Provincetown sustained damage resulting in closure of multiple parking spaces. The Nauset Marsh Trail bridge was destroyed in a 2012 storm. More »

Marine Plants / Algae

Seagrass monitoring

Scientists sample seagrass along a transect as part of a monitoring program put it place by the National Seashore.

Though relatively inconspicuous to most visitors (with notable exceptions; i.e. "mung"), marine plants and algae play a vital ecological role. Seagrass communities are unique marine ecosystems found close to shore in intertidal and subtidal zones, usually occurring in relatively shallow water. Seagrass beds provide a variety of important functions such as the filtering of nutrients and pollutants, and the stabilization of sediments in marine systems. These communities also serve as nurseries and habitat for a variety of commercially and ecologically important species. Terrestrial algae found in the sandy soils of the dunes prevent erosion and dessication, two factors that contribute to the natural succession of these systems. Learn more about marine plants and algae by clicking the links below:

Reports and Publications:

Seagrass Resource Brief

Algal Crusts of the Dunes

The What and Why of "Mung"

Illustrated Guide to Salt Marsh Plants and Animals

Did You Know?

Highland Light

The original Highland Light was built in 1797, becoming the first lighthouse on Cape Cod in Massachusetts. It had 24 whale oil lamps set in 2 circles, one on top of the other with the reflector behind.