WHY ARE SEAGRASSES IMPORTANT?
Seagrasses play many important roles in the marine environment. They provide food, shelter, and nursery areas for many different species.
Additionally, by trapping sediments and stabilising the sea bottom with their extensive root system, seagrasses reduce the amount of suspended matter, including pollutants, in the water column, thus improving water quality, which benefits coral reefs which need clear water to thrive.
HOW IT AFFECTS HUMANS?
Seagrass beds also reduce seabed resuspension and retain nutrients, preventing them from being washed out to other sensitive habitats, including coral reefs.
New research also suggests seagrass meadows play a very important role to mitigate the consequences of climate change: As they perform photosynthesis, they remove carbon dioxide from the water, counteracting the acidifying effect of the greenhouse gas emissions.
WHAT IF SEAGRASSES DISAPPEARED?
Without seagrasses, marine habitats would be much less healthy and support less diversity of aquatic life. Local communities would see their livelihoods suffer as the commercial or recreational value of coastal areas is lost.