Locking Carbon Underground

Seagrass is a vital marine habitat for a variety of species and an incredible carbon sink. Porthdinllaen, Llŷn Peninsula, Wales.

Seagrass plants can be highly productive, leading to the trapping and storing of vast amounts of carbon in their sediments that can stay there for millenia. A restored meadow of Zostera marina (UK species) will capture around 0.4 tonnes carbon dioxide per year (minimum estimate). This equates to 40 tonnes CO2/hectare over 100 years (minimum estimate) and a ‘natural’ (non-restored) meadow may contain up to 380 tonnes carbon per hectare or even more in extreme cases.

Carbon uptake and photosynthesis in seagrass. Chloroplasts found in the cells of seagrass blades use energy from the sun to convert carbon dioxide and water into carbohydrates. Some of this carbon is then transported into the roots and rhizomes under the sediment.

At Project Seagrass we want to protect these important carbon stores and create more through restoration, which is why we’ve created Seagrass (Re)Store to ask for donations towards this process. We can’t currently legally validate our restoration and conservation work through a carbon credit system, however we expect this to come online in the next 12 to 18 months. Currently there remain many challenges to achieving this that need to be overcome before a stand alone seagrass carbon offset scheme can operate.  By contributing to Seagrass (Re)Store you are helping to conserve and restore seagrass by supporting projects that are leading to the continued storage of carbon into seagrass sediments and the creation of new seagrass carbon stores.