seagrass tagged posts

England’s largest seagrass restoration project gets under way

By all accounts they are a miracle of the underwater world. Reckoned to sequester carbon 35 times faster than a tropical rainforest, seagrass meadows also provide a haven for some of the most fantastical marine creatures on Earth – even in the UK, where enigmatic seahorses are among those found sheltering in the swaying blades. 

Yet the UK’s seagrass meadows have vanished at an astonishing rate. According to some estimates we have lost more than 90 per cent of them in the last century or so; pollution, dredging, bottom trawling and coastal developments have all contributed to their demise.   

Seeking to turn the tide for these imperilled ecosystems is a conservation initiative that is being billed as the largest seagrass restoration project in England.

Launching today and las...

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Climate change: Carbon-reducing seagrass planted off Welsh coast

Diver planting seagrass beds

A million seagrass seeds are being planted as part of Britain’s largest project to save the “wonder plant”. Experts say seagrass helps tackle the effects of climate change by absorbing carbon dioxide faster than trees. But up to 92% of the plant may have disappeared from the UK’s coast over the last century, research has found.

Work has now started on lowering the seeds onto the seabed off Pembrokeshire to create a new 20,000 sq m (215,280 sq ft) meadow.

Scientists hope it will also help boost fish numbers and support marine wildlife.

Seagrass, which is found in shallow waters of coastal regions, has been declining globally at a rate of about 7% a year since 1990.

That is a result of long-term development of our coastlines and pollution of the sea, according to project leader Dr Richard ...

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Scientists Struggle to Save Vital Seagrasses from Coastal Pollution

An American lobster shelters in an eelgrass meadow off Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts

Seagrasses grow along coastlines nearly everywhere around the world, and they can store twice as much carbon in a given area as temperate and tropical forests. They provide food and shelter for fish, shellfish and sea turtles. They also blunt the impacts of ocean acidification, reduce coastal erosion and keep the water clean by filtering out excessive nutrients.

But the more than 70 species of seagrasses are among the most poorly protected coastal habitats.

Seagrass meadows in many places are imperiled by coastal development, overfishing, runoff from farm waste, and the growing threat from climate change. They have declined roughly 7% annually since the 1990s, a peer-reviewed study found. That is on par with the declines of tropical rain forests and coral reefs.

It doesn’t have to be thi...

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Restoring seagrass under siege

Seagrass

Seagrasses are disappearing at rates that rival those of coral reefs and tropical rainforests, losing as much as seven percent of their area each year. Replanting success rates have been unpredictable — but scientists are making new advances that could change that.

Seagrasses are disappearing at rates that rival those of coral reefs and tropical rainforests, losing as much as seven percent of their area each year, according to the IUCN. While only eelgrass grows along the muddy shorelines of San Francisco Bay, more than 70 species of seagrass worldwide cover a global area estimated at up to 600,000 kilometers squared (about 373,000 square miles) — an area roughly the size of Madagascar.

The flowering plants — not to be confused with seaweed — are considered “coastal canaries...

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Seagrass is a powerful weapon

Seagrass

Seagrass has been around since dinosaurs roamed the earth, it is responsible for keeping the world’s coastlines clean and healthy, and supports many different species of animal, including humans. And yet, it is often overlooked, regarded as merely an innocuous feature of the ocean.

But the fact is that this plant is vital — and it is for that reason that the World Seagrass Association has issued a consensus statement, signed by 115 scientists from 25 countries, stating that these important ecosystems can no longer be ignored on the conservation agenda. Seagrass is part of a marginalized ecosystem that must be increasingly managed, protected and monitored — and needs urgent attention now.

Seagrass meadows are of fundamental importance to human life...

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