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Seagrass Meadows: More Than Just A Meadow

Beneath the oceans waves there are so many diverse eco systems and varying habitats that can be found around the world. Seagrass meadows can be seen as some of the most magical.

Seagrass refers to a flowering plant that is grows fully submerged underwater, they are securely anchored to the seabed through a strong root system and well adapted to living in salt water with their flowers pollinating underwater!

Clear View of Seagrass

10 Facts About Seagrass Meadows:

  1. Although seagrass takes up just 0.1% of the seafloor it is responsible for 11% of the organic carbon buried at sea. Making it vital in the fight against climate change.

  2. There are between 50 - 60 species of seagrass plants around the world.

  3. To grow seagrass certain conditions need to be met, such as sediment for the roots to take a hold in, stable saline, high levels of light and somewhere it's not going to be disturbed. 

  4. Seagrass flowers are actually pollinated by shrimp as well as water currents and other marine creatures.

  5. Seagrass meadows are also important to fishermen as they supply 20% of the world’s fisheries.

  6. These meadows are an important hunting ground for some valuable adult predators, such as groupers and sharks, whilst also providing essential nutrients for sea turtles to graze on.

  7. They also provide shelter for 40x more marine wildlife than the bare sea floor. Species of sea snails, sea horses and more than 50 species of fish frequent this habitat, as it acts as a nursery for cod, plaice and pollock.

  8. Seagrass meadows are able to store carbon as effectively as forests can. Capturing an estimated 400kg of carbon dioxide per hectare, each year.

  9. Not only are they fantastic in the fight against climate change, but seagrass meadows also help to prevent coastal erosion as their long blades counter the oceans swell and act as a buffer for the coast. 

  10. One way that seagrass meadows are being protected in the UK is through the use of ‘helical’ (corkscrew) moorings which enabled the regrowth of seagrass at the base of mooring chains and help to make the beds denser and seagrass blades longer.

Protecting Seagrass Meadows

With seagrass meadows being so important they are in need of protection. According to the Guardian the UK has lost over 90% of its seagrass meadows! This loss has been caused by a number of different things, from dredging and bottom trawling to pollution from farming and industry as well as coastal developments. Around the world 

Work has begun in an attempt to restore two hectares of seagrass, simply by gardening underwater, collecting, separating and planting seeds to regrow and restore the UK’s seagrass meadows. Read more about this project here.

Supporting Project Seagrass

For September 2021 Ocean Helper are excited to be donating 10% of gross profits to the amazing Project Seagrass - "...an environmental charity devoted to the conservation of seagrass ecosystems through education, influence, research and action." They work to reverse the loss of seagrass meadows by using research and working with local communities for hands on environmental conservation. 

Half Price Lucky Sea Turtle Bracelets

Support seagrass this September when you make a purchase through Ocean Helper. We have an amazing offer for you this month with 50% off our brand new Lucky Sea Turtle Bracelets! They are available in a choice of 6 different colours and they are adjustable to fit all wrist types.

Lucky Sea Turtle Bracelet Offer - Half Price

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Sources:

1] Project Seagrass - Why saving seagrass means saving our seas

2] Citizen Scientist Project - Important Facts About Seagrass 

3] The Guardian - 'Catastrophic': UK has lost 90% of seagrass meadows, study finds - Damian Carrington, March 4th 2021

4] Discover Wildlife - Seagrass Guide: What it is and why it is so important?Catherine Smalley, May 15th 2020

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