An Act To Restore Regular Mapping of Eelgrass Beds in the State
Sec. 1. 38 MRSA §1805 is enacted to read:
§ 1805. Eelgrass mapping
In accordance with the requirements of this section and in consultation with the Department of Marine Resources, the department shall establish and administer an eelgrass mapping program. For the purposes of this section, "eelgrass" means the flowering marine plant species Zostera marina that is primarily found in shallow, protected intertidal and subtidal locations in the State.
This bill directs the Department of Environmental Protection, in consultation with the Department of Marine Resources, to establish and administer a program to regularly produce and update maps regarding the distribution of eelgrass beds in the State. Data collected and maps produced under this program must be made available on the Department of Environmental Protection's publicly accessible website. The Department of Environmental Protection is directed to submit to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over environmental and natural resources matters on or before January 1, 2021, and biennially thereafter, a report on the data collected and maps produced under this program.