Seagrass distribution is a very important index for costal management and protection. Seagrass distribution changes can be used as indexes to analyze the reasons for the changes. In this paper, in situ
hyperspectral observation and satellite images of QuickBird, CBERS (China Brazil Earth Resources Satellite data) and Landsat data were used to retrieve bio-optical models and seagrass (Enhalus acoroides
) distribution in Xincun Bay, Hainan province, and seagrass distribution changes from 1991 to 2006 were analyzed. Hyperspectral results showed that the spectral bands at 555, 635, 650 and 675 nm are sensitive to leaf area index (LAI). Seagrass detection with QuickBird was more accurate than that with Landsat TM and CBERS; five classes could be classified clearly and used as correction for seagrass remote sensing data from Landsat TM and CBERS. In order to better describe seagrass distribution changes, the seagrass distribution area was divided as three regions: region A connected with region B in 1991, however it separated in 1999 and was wholly separated in 2001; seagrass in region C shrank gradually and could not be detected in 2006. Analysis of the reasons for seagrass reduction indicated it was mainly affected by aquaculture and typhoons and in recent years, by land use changes.