Seagrass: the unexpected climate change solution

The recently released United Nations Environment Programme report Out of the Blue: The Value of Seagrasses to the Environment and to People has once again highlighted the significant role that seagrass meadows can play in the climate change solution.

Seagrass meadows are of fundamental importance to nature and people. They contribute to community well-being, whether through food security from fish production, improved quality of water filtered by seagrasses, protection of coasts from erosion, storms and floods, or carbon sequestration and storage.

Globally, seagrasses have been declining since the 1930s, with the most recent census estimating that 7 per cent of this key marine habitat is being lost worldwide per year, which is equivalent to a football field of seagrass lost every 30 minutes. Seagrasses are among the least protected coastal ecosystems and often face cumulative pressures from coastal development, nutrient run-off and climate change.

Healthy seagrasses provide a source of opportunities to mitigate climate change, adapt to future changes, build resilience and offer multiple additional societal benefits. We need to act now to protect seagrasses by prioritising our actions by protecting and extending seagrass meadows, such as those located at Station Beach.