US News World’s Largest Seagrass Restoration Project is a Virginia Success

tom_mai78101

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In what started as an experiment and became the largest success of its kind, a seagrass restoration project in Southeast Virginia is demonstrating the resilience of marine ecosystems when they are given a chance to recover.

A group of marine scientists and volunteers spread more than 70 million eelgrass seeds across a 200-hectare plot off the southern end of Virginia’s eastern shore. Led by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and with help from The Nature Conservancy, the project has grown to over 3,600 hectares (8,896 acres), making it the largest seagrass restoration in the world.

For perspective, this landmark seagrass meadow project off the coast of Wales used 750,000 seeds to create a five-acre meadow.

Over the 20 years it took to create the mega 3,600-hectare ecosystem in Virginia, scientists have gotten to see the process from infancy to adulthood. They’ve been documenting every detail, every step of the way, so as to lay the foundations of knowledge for widespread seagrass restoration across the world. This is important because seagrass isn’t just a good home for fish; it can also help the planet.

While the Amazon rainforest is sometimes affectionately referred to as the ‘lungs of the world’, the combination of masses of rotting plant matter and poor soil conditions mean that its carbon storage potential is actually lower than other forest ecosystems—like the Taiga in Russia, for example.


Read more here. (Good News Network)
 
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