Seagrasses grow from the North of Scandinavia to the South of South Australia; they’re a vital part of the planet’s life support system, they’re amazing, and Blue Meadows is all about protecting and restoring them.
This is not some niche experiment; it’s about working together to restore the UK’s seagrass meadows to their former state and reaping the benefits of their ability to support a sustainable planet.
This will really make a difference and we’d love you to help.
The plant that keeps on giving
A haven for biodiversity
Seagrass meadows allow biodiversity to flourish; a single hectare of seagrass provides sanctuary for up to 80,000 animals. Seagrass meadows are also a home for rare and endangered species, like seahorses and stalked jellyfish, allowing them to shelter and thrive.
A defence for our coastline
Seagrass meadows keep our shores safe by anchoring sediments on the seabed. Where seagrass meadows are present and healthy, they can prevent the erosion of our coasts.
A carbon store for the future
Seagrass meadows absorb and store vast amounts of carbon. They outperform other plants, even absorbing carbon up to thirty-five times more efficiently than tropical rainforests. Their potential for carbon capture is incredible, despite covering only 0.2% of the seabed, seagrass meadows currently store 10% of the ocean’s carbon.
But without our help, seagrass is under threat.
Here in the UK, we are losing seagrass meadows at an alarming rate, with 500 hectares per annum lost mainly due to avoidable human activity.
But together, we can stop this. The time has come to halt this vital habitat’s decline. We need a new, holistic approach to seagrass protection and restoration.
We need to protect what we have and restore what we have lost. To do so, we need your support.
Phase 1: Protection
Part of the problem is that people don’t realise where seagrass beds are, so don’t know the damage that can be caused. We will identify seagrass meadows where human activity is a major reason for their poor condition or decline. Then, partnering with Harbour Authorities, we will define areas for protection and mark them with our Blue Meadow buoys.
We will also be working with local stakeholders and communities to create a platform to engage with the marine environment, raising awareness of the importance of seagrass and what we can do together to look after it.
Our goal is to protect c700 Ha, or c10% of UK seagrass meadows, over the next five years. And we have already started by protecting 20 hectares in Falmouth.
Phase 2: Regeneration
Protection is just the first step, but would mean seagrass meadows could recover and regenerate.
This must be followed up. Its impact must be measured and evaluated. With our in-house research dive team and scientific partners, we will measure the impact and benefits of our work by reviewing meadow growth and biodiversity.
Phase 3: Restoration
Our monitoring and research work spans over a decade. That’s why we have developed a 400 square metre, purpose-built facility for seagrass restoration, funded with the support from the Green Recovery Challenge Fund. After protecting seagrass meadows to allow them to regenerate, we then need to restore what we have lost.
But scaled restoration of seagrass meadows isn’t easy and various problems need solutions, including seed collection, low germination rates and poor seedling growth.
That’s why we have developed a 400 square metre, purpose-built facility for seagrass restoration. It’s the largest seagrass nursery in the UK, where we are researching and developing large-scale restoration techniques.
Click on a location to find out more.
Protected and allowed 20 Ha of seagrass to regenerate through partnerships with Falmouth Harbour and Plymouth Gin
The home of the Ocean Conservation Trust on the shores of the UK’s first National Marine Park
The location for our purpose-built seagrass nursery site and the next site for protection
I’m a Harbour Authority, how can I get involved?
We want to work with as many UK Harbour Authorities as possible to protect seagrass beds together. If you’re part of one, then contact us by clicking on ‘protect a meadow’ below and let us know where you’re based.
I’m a Business, how can I get involved?
As a charity it is vital we work with businesses who want to have a real impact on our planet. We’re looking to work with businesses to fund our project and make a lasting difference to this vital habitat. If you’re a business and want to support us, then please contact us by clicking on ‘protect a meadow’ below to find out more.
I’m a member of the Public, how can I get involved?
The launch of Blue Meadows is an opportunity for everyone to get involved by helping fund our work to protect this vital habitat. If you want to support our efforts, you can donate by clicking here.