Beverly, MA

Device to replant Massachusetts eelgrass in marine biomes

The Landmark School InvenTeam invented a low-cost, automated planting system for eelgrass. Local law requires eelgrass loss mitigation when existing beds are disturbed through human activities. The Landmark system can be used by a seaside homeowner, municipality, or interested party to plant eelgrass, stabilize the ocean bottom, and reduce water turbidity. This innovative system decreases the average planting expense by more than 90%, while helping to recover an economically significant marine biome. The Landmark system incorporates biodegradable mesh and disk that use water currents and tidal action to effectively cover the plant roots in sediment and protect the exposed plants. 

Recent Team Blogs

June 10, 2016
Recently we were featured on the WHDH TV Boston News. It was really a surprise and a fun experience. Because of the feature, our team was contacted by Tisbury Waterways Inc.  who was interested in our device. Read and watch the story here:
June 9, 2016
April 23, 2016
April 22.  The day was perfect for surveying the location for our Manchester test planting. The water was clear, calm and an overall great day to deploy the ROV.  We started by looking at the area in need of replanting.  Multiple prop-wash incidents have reduced eelgrass viability...
April 22, 2016
Today we carried out a video survey of planting areas in Manchester. We started in our first target area that satellite images indicate boat scarring and eelgrass loss. We hit the area quite close- right along the edge of the meadow. From pictures we could see how sparse the eelgrass is. One of...
April 19, 2016
Our 1 week follow up of the Nahant planting was done yesterday. Observations Of the 20 disks set last week, 8 were visible.  Most were buried or completely buried. There was no shifting of the disks relative to the placement. ( they stayed where we put them )of the 8 visible, ...
April 9, 2016
Today we recovered, sorted eelgrass shoots and rhizomes - placing them in our disks.  We then took them out to Black Rock Beach in Nahant and did a "walk out" test planting.   In this testing, we were looking at sink rate and sink orientation.  We also took measurements so that we...
April 4, 2016
A group of us went out to visit the Northeatern University Marine lab in Nahant, MA. We visited with Dr. Randall Hughes who showed us her lab and test pools. After the meeting, we went out to the beach to assess the area we will use as a "walk out" planting site.  This site has been chosen...
March 2, 2016
Team members met with the Beverly Conservation Commission last night to explain our planting system and to get a final vote on the team proposal to erect a testing pool.   A happy and interested Commission enjoyed the presentation, gave feedback, before voting unanimously to allow us to put...
February 26, 2016
The team received a certificate of recognition from Senator Markey.
February 25, 2016
    Today we carried out the first tank test of our ROV. We will be carrying out a pool test today and our first open water dive this weekend.  Next week we will be identifying specific ocean bottom for planting.
February 9, 2016
Our Open ROV submersible kit has finally arrived. Snowdays and poor travel worked against us and the kit took an extra 5 days to arrive.  We lost no time in starting the build. Today we began with the gluing of the lucite structural backbone and pressure vessel end caps.
February 5, 2016
We learnt, over our numurous presentations that having a diorama model increases the understanding of our system.
February 3, 2016
80% sand 20% Resin  finally came out right! without cracking
February 3, 2016
At the meeting, we described to the harbor master what our plan was and he thought it was pretty awesome!  We discussed with him about the loctions, for planting and start testing of our disks. We found suitable locations in Manchester harbor and also talked about buoys for marking our...
January 28, 2016
90:10  not good. Trying 80:20 next.
January 27, 2016
We got the biodegradable polymer from Coim Inc.  and have begun to test various ratios of sand aggregate to polymer.   Our early hypothesis that a 60:40  sand to polymer ratio would be the most effective seems to be in error.  We have begun testing ratios between 80:20 , 85:15...
January 13, 2016
With the shift from a weighted wide area bio-mat to smaller weighted disks, the team began to problem solve a system that integrates the bio-disk system within a pre­cast biodegradable weight. Early testing with melting PLA pellets ( Poly Lactic Acid ) commonly used in 3­D...
January 13, 2016
To prevent instant disitegration in the water, the cacium carbonate disks need to be covered by a hard layer. Therefore, testing of different gradually disitegrating materials to incompass the disks occur often. Here, Doug Walker and Shaura Agarwal are melting the hardened solution to coat the...
January 13, 2016
The trays holding the protoypes (disks) was finally decided to be ultramarine blue. It is related so much to the ocean so, might as well right? Painted by our Administrative lead- Shaurya Agarwal
December 13, 2015
Nothing says fun more than a team building project - Particularly when we got to play with a pressure washer. Earlier this fall, the team cleaned and prepared the school's old pool as an outdoor aquarium to be used in growing eelgrass and testing parts of our planting system.  
December 10, 2015
Now we're experimenting disks!! While observing the method of using bio disks, we came up with this idea of using calcium carbonate disks to prevent issues from happening with just burlap mesh. Problems that we would avoid include the disturbance of large amounts of ocean bottom and also the...
December 9, 2015
Last week, the team visited the Massachusetts Marine Fisheries and Tay Evans to discuss Eelgrass and various mitigation techniques.  The team presented our proposed version along with some early mock-ups of an individual delivery device.  Tay Evans and her collegues were supportive and...
November 18, 2015
After school, part of the team met and went to West Beach in Beverly to collect eelgrass.  The recent storm broke alot of eelgrass free from the sea floor. There was a substantial amount of seaweed, both eelgrass and rock weed at the water's edge.   We have also created a promotional...