The plight of seagrass habits around the globe is being highlighted as part of the very first World Seagrass Day.
The United Nations recently declared today, March 1st, as World Seagrass Day in a bid to raise awareness of the threats these essential marine habitats currently face. And BSAC members are invited to get involved in the global drive to protect and restore our precious seagrass meadows.
Working with initiatives Project Seagrass and Seawilding, BSAC aims to engage its members in grassroots citizen science projects designed to help re-establish seagrass beds in the UK over the coming months.
Seagrass meadows are one of the planet's most valuable coastal marine ecosystems. Not only do they provide essential habitats for a diverse range of marine life, but they also help to improve water quality. They are also invaluable carbon stores as well as offering natural coastal defence around our shores.
However, these important ecosystems are under threat due to pollution, climate change, dredging and unregulated fishing. It is estimated that at least 44% of the UK’s seagrass meadows have been lost since the 1930s. And according to the UN, the latest figures indicate that 7% is lost worldwide every year.
BSAC Chief Executive Mary Tetley hoped that the first World Seagrass Day would bring a greater focus on the issues this vulnerable marine habitat faces.
The importance of seagrass to the health of not just our oceans but to our planet should not be underestimated. As divers and snorkellers we are in a privileged position to help protect the future of these essential marine habitats.
Working with Project Seagrass, and Seawilding we will be encouraging our clubs and members to not only map and monitor seagrass meadows around our coastline, but also directly contribute to their restoration and conservation.
BSAC will shortly release details on how BSAC members can get involved in seagrass projects this summer. In the meantime, for more information on Project Seagrass and its planned 2023 events, go to www.projectseagrass.org
Shore surveyor course
Want to learn more about the importance of protecting seagrass? BSAC are working in partnership with Seawilding to deliver its shore surveyor eLearning course. The Shore Surveyor course is open to anyone from the age of eight and is a great way to engage children, young people, and families in protecting the UK marine environment.
Check out our takeover!
Seawilding and Project seagrass will be taking over our instagram stories at @bsacdivers all of today!