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Seagrass Reintroduction

Seagrass Introduction
Native Seagrass

The Project

Common Eelgrass (Zostera marina

Seagrass are the only group of marine flowering plants, often located in shallow sheltered areas along many coasts of the world. These plants grow bright green leaves which form dense underwater meadows that cover sandy sea beds. Seagrass is a keystone species forming the critical base of an entire ecosystems. The habitats that meadows form can support thousands of marine species including, crustaceans, shellfish, polychaete worms, and fish. Compared to neighbouring sandy habitats seagrass meadows can have over 30 times more species living within them.

Not only do seagrasses make fantastic habitats they are also a key part of aspect of global carbon storage. While seagrass only covers 0.1% of the seafloor, they are responsible for 11% of the organic carbon storage in the ocean. Combined with mangrove and wetland habitats these ecosystems are responsible for more carbon capture then the rainforests.  

Seagrass Restoration 

We are aiming to restore seagrass to the Tees estuary and surrounding coastline. In order to do this, we are using two methods based: planting seagrass bags and transplanting seagrass shoots.

Seagrass bag planting

This method involves fixing large biodegradable hessian bags on the seafloor filling each with a mixture of sediment and seagrass seeds. Under the protection of the bags the seeds will be left to established and develop under natural conditions. 

Transplanting Shoots

Each year we keep some seeds back to grow in our seagrass facility. Once the seedlings have developed a root mass we can transfer them to our planting site. By planting developed plants the seagrass will be less susceptible to uprooting from storms or wavy conditions

Direct Seed Injection

Each This method involves mixing sediment with seagrass seeds. Once the mixture is created it is place into a modified caulking gun, which can then be used to directly inject seeds into the sediment on site.

Our Seagrass Facility

Gallery

Project Partners and Funders

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