Taking the battle to save seagrass online
A group of marine scientists has launched a new website to help save declining Australian and New Zealand seagrasses.
The Seagrass Restoration Network (SRN) initiative is supported by funds from The Nature Conservancy and Deakin University. The group is led by Dr Craig Sherman from Deakin and Professor Gary Kendrick from The University of Western Australia. Deakin's Dr Peter Macreadie is also a member of the network.
'The marine environment is particularly difficult to restore, as water and sediment are constantly moving,' Dr Sherman says.
'Restoration of our seagrass habitats has important knock-on effects for coastal environments – improving recreational and commercial fishery stocks, coastal erosion control, water quality, and carbon sequestration.
'This new website will enable the sharing of restoration successes and will encourage further collaboration.'
The group believes the website will play a vital role in improving the capacity and readiness for seagrass restoration in Australia and New Zealand and generate momentum in developing long-term nationally coordinated restoration programs.
'Seagrasses have been declining globally at a scale similar to corals and mangroves and restoration is a challenge for current practices,' Professor Kendrick says.
'Our team has demonstrated that seagrass restoration is possible, and scalable, and with the right resourcing can contribute to reversing the losses.'
Community groups, restoration practitioners, researchers and government departments are encouraged to visit the new Seagrass Restoration Network website to see current seagrass restoration activities in Australia and New Zealand.