Have you ever heard of seagrass?
Seagrass is a wonder-plant that lives in shallow, sheltered areas along our coast. It is vital to the health of our seas and can help address environmental problems. Seagrass captures carbon up to 35 times faster than tropical rainforests and, even though it only covers 0.2% of the seafloor, it absorbs 10% of the ocean’s carbon each year, making it an incredible tool in the fight against climate change.
Seagrass is vital for marine life, which depends on the meadows for food and shelter. A 10,000m2 area can support 80,000 fish and over a million invertebrates. Seagrass is an important nursery for endangered wildlife such as seahorses, as well as many of the fish we eat, including cod, plaice and pollock.
What's happening to seagrass?
In the UK, up to 92 per cent of our seagrass has disappeared in the last century. We’re working with Sky Ocean Rescue and Swansea University to bring these incredible underwater meadows back to life, by launching the biggest seagrass restoration project ever undertaken in the UK.
One million seagrass seeds have been collected this summer from various sites around the country by a team of volunteers. The seeds will be cultivated, before being planted in Dale Bay in Pembrokeshire this winter, where they will grow into a 20,000 m2 seagrass meadow.
What's next for this wonder-plant?
The cutting-edge pilot project will create a model that could lead the way for large-scale seagrass restoration throughout the UK. We are urgently calling on governments to use this model to bring back these lush underwater meadows and for the UK to become a global leader in restoring ocean health and combating climate change.
If projects like this were to occur globally there would be huge planetary benefits. Seagrass creates an unbelievably important ecosystem that provides benefits for communities, as well as for the health of the planet.