SCR’s Seagrass Restauration Project
Seagrasses are flowering plants that contribute to the maintenance and sustenance of aquatic life. These delicate green structures support hundreds of other underwater plants and animals.
Seagrasses are globally rated as the third most valuable ecosystem.
Save Coral Reefs takes part in this global challenge to protect seagrasses through local awareness and replanting programs. Join us!
Seagrasses are the only flowering marine plants that live underwater, forming an important link in the coastal ecosystem. With more than 60 different species, seagrasses use sunlight to photosynthesize and get nutrients from their anchored roots, which makes them similar to land plants and different from algae or seaweeds.
Seagrasses are found around the world mainly in tropical areas with a strong diversity in South East Asia. They grow in shallow waters along coastlines and found in areas where there is not intense wave action or dry outs due to low tide. The depth range of the meadow is determined by the availability of sunlight on the sea floor. In clear water condition, seagrasses can grow at more than 50 meters depth.
Seagrasses alter the flow of water preventing coastal erosion, recycle the nutrients, impact the food chain of marine life systems and provide nurseries, shelter and food for a variety of underwater plants and animals.
Seagrasses, living along the coastal water of land, sustains the marine ecosystem. From plants to animals, seagrasses are an answer to their existence. The leaves are a source of anchorage for other plants and share a symbiotic relationship. Some animals such as the dugongs, Sea Urchins, Turtles and some fish feed directly on the grass blades. Without the seagrasses, these animals cannot survive. Seagrasses are shelters for juvenile marine species such as prawns and fish.
They not only provide natural habitat to smaller marine species but also help keep water clear by absorbing the coastal runoff. Seagrasses improve water quality by dissipating wave’s effect allowing particles to settle keeping the water clear. Seagrasses can also help by acting like a filter if there are too many nutrients in the water or sediment.
Recent studies show that seagrass meadows are efficient carbon dioxide stokers. They are responsible to 10 percent of all carbon sequestered in the ocean annually.
Seagrasses meadows are declining worldwide, in many cases due to human activity. Coastal dredging to maintain deep channels for shipping and boaters propellers rip out seagrasses.These are usually small scale losseq.
Large scale declines are often due to excess nutrients, sediments, and chemicals which run off the land into the water. This usually leads to eutrophication. When nutrient levels are high, algae bloom in the water column, on the sediment surface, and on the seagrass blades themselves. This algae competition blocks light, and seagrasses die because they cannot photosynthesize.
Because of the importance of seagrasses to coastal ecosystem and local communities, many attempts to restore declining or dead seagrass meadows were carried out. In order to restore beds, adult plants can be taken from healthy meadows and replanted. This often only works for small restoration areas. In order for seeds or adult plants to survive, there must be good water quality. There cannot be an excess of nutrients, and sufficient light must be able to reach the plants.
Throughout awareness programs with the local schools and consulting the local fishermen, Save Coral Reefs exposes the benefits of seagrasses fragile and threatened ecosystem.
Save Coral Reefs takes action in protecting seagrasses meadows by leading a replantation and seagrasse cleaning program.
By this way, Save Coral Reefs hopes to preserve this unique and important ecosystem. The shelter provided by the leaves of seagrasses will increase the coral fish population sustaining the local fisheries. Furthermore, the wave dissipating effect of the seagrasses meadows will protect these same communities from beach erosion.
If you to want to take part in this sustainable program, please feel free to join Save Coral Reefs’ Seagrassees Replantation Program. By Becomimg a Member of Save Coral Reefs organisation you will be informed and invited to join us for a Seagrass Replantation event.
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