Around 750,000 seeds planted in UK’s biggest seagrass restoration scheme

The plant absorbs carbon 35 times quicker than rainforest but up to 92% of the UK’s seagrass has been destroyed in the last century

Pathway to COP26 report

Around 750,000 seeds have been planted in the UK’s biggest seagrass restoration scheme, which aims to re-establish natural carbon sinks across the UK.

Sky Ocean Rescue, WWF and Swansea University planted the seeds in Dale Bay in Pembrokeshire, where they say the restoration of the important marine habitat will help fight climate change.

They highlight seagrass absorbs carbon 35 times quicker than rainforest but note up to 92% of the UK’s seagrass has been destroyed in the last century, driven by pollution, coastal development and damage from boat propellers and chain moorings.

Globally, it is estimated that seagrass accounts for 10% of annual ocean carbon storage, despite occupying only 0.2% of the seafloor.

The planting will continue, with more than a million seeds being due to be planted in total in 2020.

Alec Taylor, Head of Marine Policy for the WWF, said: “Super seagrass brings incredible benefits for people, climate and nature, but it has all but disappeared from UK waters. If we can show that it is possible to bring it back, we will give the government a blueprint for restoration that they cannot ignore.

“Our ocean has the potential to be a hero in the fight against climate change but it cannot play this role without urgent, co-ordinated action. Starting by restoring seagrass, 2020 needs to be the year that the government sets out a world-leading ocean recovery programme, to bring life back to our seas and help the country meet its net zero and nature commitments.”

Latest Podcast