One of the Most Valuable Ecosystems in the World

Despite its incredible benefits to the oceans and to our fisheries, nearly one-third of seagrass worldwide has been lost in the past century alone. Here in Nova Scotia, we have an incredible opportunity to protect it.

Contributed by Dr. Kristina Boerder
June 8, 2021
World Oceans Day

Also published here>

We have a treasure right in front of our doorstep that few people know about — eelgrass beds, a remarkable coastal ecosystem under the waves, just steps off the coast. Very few people know that eelgrass provides critically important ecosystem services, including supporting our fisheries, helping to prevent coastal and beach erosion, and storing carbon. The UN has even declared eelgrass meadows a “secret weapon” in the fight against climate change. Unfortunately, seagrass meadows are also one of the world’s most threatened ecosystems. It is estimated that the world loses up to 2 football fields worth of seagrass each hour. That’s the equivalent of 336 football fields each week.

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