The meadows of the ocean
Threats to Seagrass beds
Threats due to sewage:
sewage is full of phosphates and nitrates
algae bloom increases due to increased nutrients
dissolved oxygen decreases
unlight is unable to penetrate
seas grasses and marine animals die
Threats due to trawl nets:
Trawl nets are weighted and drag along the bottom
Dragging destroys sea grasses and animals that live there
Threats due to garbage:
Garbage contains toxins and/or poisonous chemicals
Threats due to plastics:
Death due to plastics in the digestive systems of organisms
Threats due to pesticides and herbicides:
Aerial spraying - wind can carry pesticides to the sea
Threats due to oil exploration:
Oil exploration leads to the risk of oil spills
Sea grasses covered by oil will die
Animals depend on sea grasses for food
Threats due to dredging:
Dredging destroys seagrass beds
Always wet and wild
Ways to help protect the Seagrass
- Be Aware: Be careful when applying fertilizers and pesticides to your lawn.
- Read the Waters: Wear polarized sunglasses when boating to reduce the surface glare to help you see shallow areas and seagrass beds.
- Know Your Boating Signs and Markers: Operate your boat in marked channels to prevent running aground and damaging your boat and seagrass beds. Learn the shapes and markings of signs warning boaters of dangerous shallows.
- Know Your Depth and Draft: When in doubt about the depth, slow down and idle. If you are leaving a muddy trail behind your boat, you are probably cutting seagrass.
- Be On the Lookout: Docks, boathouses, and even boats can block sunlight from reaching the seagrass below. When building or repairing a dock, consider building the dock five feet above the water or extend the dock to deeper water so your boat don't block sunlight.
- Study Your Charts: Use navigational charts, fishing maps, or local boating guides to become familiar with waterways. Nautical charts alert you to shallow areas so you don't run aground and damage seagrass.