Seasalt partners with Cornwall Wildlife Trust on pioneering seagrass restoration project - Cornwall Wildlife Trust

Hermit crab in eelgrass, credit Paul Naylor
Hermit crab in eelgrass, credit Paul Naylor

The launch of a new project to restore Cornwall’s carbon-capturing seagrass meadows has been announced today during National Marine Week.

Funded by clothing brand Seasalt Cornwall and implemented by Cornwall Wildlife Trust, the ‘Seeding Change Together’ project aims to restore intertidal seagrass found in the Fal Estuary.

Seagrass plays a critical role in absorbing and storing the world’s coastal blue carbon. Using technology never previously trialled in Cornwall before, marine experts will identify and test restoration methods that can be scaled up in the fight against climate change.

The three-year project, based at Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s Fal Ruan nature reserve, will begin with an important research and development phase. The Trust will conduct on-site and aerial surveys, as well as water quality tests, to better understand the environmental conditions affecting the seagrass beds. Thousands of seeds will then be collected and planted by volunteers.

Cornwall Wildlife Trust hopes its conservation efforts will expand the size of the reserve’s seagrass bed. Learnings from the project could also identify additional locations for seagrass restoration in the River Fal.

Matt Slater, Marine Conservation Officer at Cornwall Wildlife Trust, said: “Many people don’t realise we have seagrass in our UK waters and, sadly, it doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. But these underwater meadows are sometimes called the ‘lungs of the sea’ because of their incredible ability to store massive amounts of carbon. We want to see seagrass habitats in Cornwall restored towards their historical levels and for seagrass to be present in all locations that could support it. This partnership with Seasalt will allow us to make headway towards that goal. The first phase of the project involves studying this wonder-plant and understanding the conditions that it needs to thrive. We can’t wait to share the results with you in the future.”

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Posted On: 28/07/2022

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