Seagrass is one of the most valuable ecosystems on Earth. Seagrass is an ecosystem engineer, it actively improves the health of the ocean through nutrient cycling and sediment stabilization. It provides a vast range of ecosystem services, such as carbon storage, supporting an incredibly high biodiversity and reducing coastal erosion. Find out more about this amazing ecosystem below.
In the 2018 Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change report on Global Warming, it stressed that we have passed the point where we can simply reduce carbon emissions, that we have to invest in carbon capture and storage. Investing in our environments natural carbon sinks is therefore critical to the future of our planet. The UN have declared 2021-2030 the Decade for Ecological Restoration. Seagrass Restoration can therefore play a pivotal role in the coming decades, whilst delivering on several Global Goals for Sustainable Development.
Seagrass is one of the most efficient carbon sinks in the world and can absorb carbon 35x more efficiently than the same area of rainforest. Seagrass covers less than 0.1% of the ocean floor, yet stores 11% of the total carbon stored in the ocean. Seagrass can also store carbon over millennia.
Seagrass provides a crucial sheltered habitat for a vast range of marine organisms, with seagrass harbouring 40 times more biodiversity than bare sand. Furthermore, with global fish stocks in decline, seagrass creates an invaluable nursery habitat for fish, supporting over 20% of the worlds largest fisheries.
Seagrass binds the sediment together with its roots, reducing coastal erosion. Furthermore, seagrass reduces wave energy by 10% to 20%. In an age of rising sea levels, the coastal protection provided by seagrass is vital for a more sustainable future.
Seagrass actively improves water quality through nutrient cycling and sediment stabilization, with the nutrient cycling carried out by seagrass being estimated to be worth US$1.9 trillion annually. Seagrass can also locally elevate the pH of the water, proving incredibly valuable against ocean acidification. Furthermore, seagrass removes harmful pathogens and bacteria from the water, which is beneficial to humans and for the health of the oceans.
Seagrass Restoration Scotland Ltd is a registered company SC633552