We use cookies for site personalization, analytics and advertising. You can opt out of third party cookies. More info in our privacy policy.   Got it

Saving our underwater meadows

Environment

Citizens are coming to the rescue of endangered seagrass meadows – a vital habitat for species as diverse as seahorses, turtles and even Atlantic cod – in a new global citizen-science programme that is mapping vital information about the species.

An online platform, SeagrassSpotter, helps volunteers to locate and document the meadows, collecting data and photos that can be used for targeted conservation efforts. Complete with a ‘Pokémon-Go’ style smartphone app, this provides scientists with reliable, geo-referenced data. So far, over 750 observations have been recorded from around the world.

Seagrass meadows serve as nurseries for many fish species and, along with mangrove and salt-marsh habitats, play a key role in locking up carbon and storing it in ocean sediments. They are under threat from disease, human pollution and disturbance from dredging and development.

While no substitute for government protection, projects such as this will be vital to fill in gaps in our knowledge and protect key habitats in the future.

Help us keep this site free for all

Vanessa BairdNew Internationalist is a lifeline for activists, campaigners and readers who value independent journalism. Please support us with a small recurring donation so we can keep it free to read online.

Support us » payment methods

Subscribe   Ethical Shop