• Atlantic Ocean beach at Cape Cod National Seashore

    Cape Cod

    National Seashore Massachusetts

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  • Access at seashore locations

    Sections of the boardwalk at the Red Maple Swamp Trail have been closed due to structural deterioration and safety concerns. Check at Salt Pond Visitor Center for the current status of this trail, and for your safety, remain out of closed areas.

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?

Carns Site archeology dig, Eastham, MA

In 1990, an intense series of storms uncovered a prehistoric site on Coast Guard Beach in Eastham, MA. Archaeologists excavated the Carns Site, which was lived in by native peoples during the Early and Middle Woodland period, or approximately 2,100 to 1,100 years ago.