Ocean Insights

Seagrass: Protecting Ocean Health and Climate Resilience

Growing in underwater meadows, seagrass is a marine plant fully adapted to living in salt and brackish water. You can find them growing along tropical and temperate coasts around the world, with some species reaching as far north as the Arctic. Seagrass provides food and shelter for wildlife, helps stop erosion, and even has the power to combat climate change by absorbing carbon up to 35 times faster than a terrestrial rainforest. Scientists are only just beginning to uncover the true power behind these industrious little plants as a powerful climate solution.

Known as the engineer of our ocean’s ecosystems, seagrass are flowering plants that grow from the ocean floor. Their root systems provide shallow yet firm anchors that keep the plants from drifting away on ocean currents and trap sediment, which helps protect beaches from erosion. Animals like manatees and sea turtles graze on seagrass beds and predators like stingrays and sharks feed on the animals that hide in the grass, supporting a vast web of life. Despite covering only 0.1% of the entire ocean floor, seagrass is capable of absorbing 83,000 metric tons of carbon per square kilometer, making it a powerful resource in mitigating climate change.

The more we learn about seagrass, the more benefits we discover for our ocean and planet. However, even this hardy little marine plant is struggling to hold its own against pollution, boat traffic, and other major challenges that can cause seagrass to decline. Recent efforts to protect seagrass habitats and the discovery of new meadows, including the largest seagrass meadow in the world, have inspired hope for our ocean’s future. Please join us as we collaborate with our conservation partners Beneath The Waves and the Bahamas National Trust to support seagrass ecosystems. Together we will help wildlife and coastal communities thrive and bring balance to our planet.

Join the Tide and help protect seagrass beds.

Slip below the surface with Dr. Austin Gallagher and follow tiger sharks to an incredible seagrass discovery below!