After nearly a decade of research and restoration trials, an ambitious program to restore eelgrass populations in Rhode Island is now underway. Eelgrass, Zostera marina, is a submerged aquatic plant that was once widespread under the waters of Narragansett Bay. Less than a century ago, vast eelgrass meadows sustained one of the most significant bay scallop fisheries in New England and large populations of migratory waterfowl, such as the Atlantic brandt. Hurricane damage and disease outbreaks of the 1930’s followed by water quality degradation over the past 70 years, have caused wide spread loss of eelgrass in Rhode Island and the North Atlantic. Recent studies in Rhode Island indicate that less than 100 acres of eelgrass remain in Narragansett Bay. Today the Bay’s scallop fishery, which in 1925 would have been worth $33 million at today’s wholesale prices, is extirpated. Important commercial fisheries and wildlife that rely on eelgrass, like tautog, lobster, winter flounder, and Atlantic brandt, have declined precipitously. Significant opportunities now exist to increase the scale of eelgrass restoration in Rhode Island due to major improvements in water quality achieved since the passage of the Clean Water Act, and scientific advances in eelgrass restoration techniques.