Teaching people the importance of seagrass using citizen science

2014 - Grant Award £500

Project Seagrass is an organisation devoted to inspiring conservation of seagrass ecosystems through education, influence, research, and action. Since its formation in 2013 it has run education workshops with schools in Greece, university students in Borneo and small village communities in Indonesia.

Over a billion people live within 50km of a seagrass meadow, yet only a small fraction of these know that seagrass exists. This holds true for the UK population. Although being productive habitats of conservation ecosystem service importance, seagrasses are under threat globally and locally. They provide support for commercially and economically important fauna such as juvenile Plaice, Pollock, Whiting and Cod but may be close to environmental thresholds and contain very little resilience to environmental change. For increasing management actions to be taken to help conserve these important habitats greater recognition is required of why these habitats are important, both economically and in terms of our collective well-being.

With the help of Sea-Changers we will to start the first project in our campaign to educate and inspire, by running a seagrass survey and education workshop in Porthdinlllaen, North Wales, with local community members and Swansea University Marine Biology Society. The Seagrass training pack that we will create in conjunction with this will include leaflets, videos and presentations about seagrass. This would enable the community group leader or teacher to repeat the session the following year under strict guidance from Project Seagrass with the program developing into a seagrass monitoring programme over time with results published rapidly online to the SeagrassWatch website and information obtained publicised to local people.

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