SAV Mapping/Monitoring Community of Practice (SAV CoP)

A Forum for Sharing Information and Supporting Seagrass Mapping/Monitoring Efforts

Photo Credit: Virginia Institute of Marine Science


What is a Community of Practice?

Communities of Practice (CoP) are groups of people with a shared interest that interact regularly to learn from each other, share ideas, and advance the state of knowledge about a particular topic. A CoP offers a forum for individual, professional, and agenda development around the topic of interest.

Submersed aquatic vegetation (SAV) are rooted, vascular plants that grow completely underwater; SAV is a term generally used for marine, estuarine, and riverine angiosperms, and macrophytes. Our focus is coastal and estuarine SAV most often referred to as seagrass.

Why the SAV CoP?

After a successful series of CERF Seagrass Mapping workshops and presentation sessions, a group of resource managers and researchers from federal, state, and academic institutions came together to create the SAV CoP as a way to continue sharing knowledge and advice on advancing the use of seagrass mapping technologies. Interests have expanded beyond seagrass mapping practitioners to include supporting the management, research, restoration, and conservation of seagrass. The intent of the SAV CoP is to facilitate collaboration and coordination among a broad sweep of members with different organization affiliations and job responsibilities as well as a variety of experiences to share information and leverage resources.

Mobile Bay Seagrass Monitoring /Alabama Pilot Project Workshop, April 16 and 17, 2019, Mobile AL.
Participants discuss the effects of monitoring Tier 2 indicators and metrics for Mobile Bay and implementing Tier 2 Gulf-wide


  • Facilitate information exchange and maximize collaboration potential by providing a mechanism for connecting experts and practitioners across the nation and internationally.
  • Promote, advance, and support seagrass mapping/monitoring efforts.
  • Be interactive, collaborative, and available.


  • Promote coordination by sharing information on current or planned data collection activities.
  • Foster application of appropriate mapping/monitoring technologies. This would include strengths, weaknesses, skill requirements, private sector vendors, and general costs or drivers of costs.
  • Optimize data quality by serving as a location for best practices manuals and documents related to mapping/monitoring.
  • Provide access to relevant grey literature, reports, and other documents outside the traditional journal publications.
  • Educate new professionals and inform decision-makers on best practices related to SAV mapping/monitoring.
  • Provide input to managers, restoration officials, and other coastal resource managers on implementation and application of the outputs from monitoring, mapping, and data synthesis efforts.


The SAV CoP is an international body hosted by the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation (CERF). The SAV CoP is associated with the Gulf of Mexico Regional Seagrass CoP which is focused on that geography. The SAV CoP is coordinated by a steering committee consisting of individuals from federal agencies, academia, and private organizations, and structureed to facilitate member interaction and collective learning.

The CoP has the following four topical focus areas. Practitioners involved with these aspects of SAV are encouraged to participate:

  • Mapping - Identifying the location and extent of SAV through methods such as remote sensing.
  • Monitoring - Determining trends or condition of SAV primarily through in-situ methods.
  • Research - Understanding the biology and ecology of SAV
  • Management - Applying data and information for the protection, restoration, and conservation of SAV.

The SAV CoP is organized around a shared Google space which allows access to documents, a calendar, and an online forum for member dialog.

News and Features

Look for upcoming CoP meetings and events on our Google calendar. Be sure to also check the CERF social media sites as well.

Rules and Etiquette

To ensure the best possible experience for all Community of Practice (CoP) members, we have established some basic guidelines for participation. By joining a CoP, you agree that you have read and will follow these rules and etiquette: Communities of Practice - Rules & Etiquette

The CoPs are provided as a service of CERF. We are not responsible for the opinions and information posted on this site by others. CERF disclaims all warranties with regard to information posted on this site, whether posted by CERF or any third party; this disclaimer includes all implied warranties of merchantability and fitness. In no event shall CERF be liable for any special, indirect, or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data, or profits, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of any information posted on this site.

CERF does not actively monitor the site for inappropriate postings and does not on its own undertake editorial control of postings. However, in the event that any inappropriate posting is brought to our attention, we will take all appropriate action. CERF reserves the right to terminate access to any user who does not abide by these guidelines.


SAV on Susquehanna Flats, MD
Photo Credit: Cassie Gurbisz

Below are links to resources useful to practitioners and maintained by the CoP

Contact or Join the CoP

For more information about the SAV CoP or to join, contact the SAV steering committee at [email protected]. Members will have access to the Google online collaboration space, receive advance notice of relevant events, and materials produced by the community. The SAV CoP holds quarterly calls open to all members. Call connection details will be posted to the forum.

Contact the CoP

Topics for these calls include:

  • Administration of the CoP
  • Sharing news and events
  • Highlighting work by members
  • Enlisting experts to inform the community on specific topics.
  • Other topics as determined by the members

Smaller groups can meet more often on specific topics. Our goal is to be interactive, collaborative, and available.