Seagrass

The meadows of the ocean

The Benefits of Seagrass

  • Stabilizing the sea bottom
  • Providing food and habitat for other marine organisms
  • Maintaining water quality
  • Supporting local economies such as commercial fishing

Threats to Seagrass beds

Threats due to sewage:

  1. sewage is full of phosphates and nitrates

  2. algae bloom increases due to increased nutrients

  3. dissolved oxygen decreases

  4. unlight is unable to penetrate

  5. Photosynthesis decreases

  6. seas grasses and marine animals die


Threats due to trawl nets:

  1. Trawl nets are weighted and drag along the bottom

  2. Dragging destroys sea grasses and animals that live there


Threats due to garbage:

  1. Garbage contains toxins and/or poisonous chemicals


Threats due to plastics:

  1. Entanglement

  2. Entrapment

  3. Death due to plastics in the digestive systems of organisms


Threats due to pesticides and herbicides:

  1. Aerial spraying - wind can carry pesticides to the sea


Threats due to oil exploration:

  1. Oil exploration leads to the risk of oil spills

  2. Sea grasses covered by oil will die

  3. Animals depend on sea grasses for food


Threats due to dredging:

  1. 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.
Seagrass: Pastures of the sea