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  • Falmouth Marine Conservation

Seagrass, Citizen Science & Snorkel Safaris

Immersing yourself in the enchanting realm of seagrass reveals the vibrant life teeming within these underwater meadows. As the world's only flowering plant, seagrasses create diverse ecosystems, supporting various marine species, acting as carbon storehouses, and stabilising our coasts while purifying the seas. Yet, these habitats are facing many threats - from pollution to coastal development, disturbance and climate change, the world of seagrass is decreasing.

Amidst these challenges, teams ranging from policy to research are working towards the restoration and protection of these remarkable habitats across the globe. And It's not just experts doing so; citizen science and community groups are invaluable, spreading awareness, providing education, and collecting indispensable global data. So how can you contribute to seagrass protection? Project Seagrass, the world's first charity dedicated to the mission of restoring seagrass has come up with an incredibly helpful resource - the seagrass spotter app! Established in 2016, this app has empowered individuals worldwide to upload GPS data and photographic evidence, with over 7,000 sightings from 3,500 users across 305 countries! The collective power of citizen science enhances scientific datasets, offering insights into the presence of seagrass, its  historical distribution  and loss across the globe. By participating, you can aid in monitoring and identifying seagrass as well as contribute to halting its global decline. If you find yourself stumbling across some seagrass be sure to submit it on the app! You can download the app and record any seagrass you spot wherever you go!

Turning our focus to Falmouth, The Seeding Change Together Project focuses on studying and restoring seagrass within the Fal Estuary. Collaborating with Seasalt Cornwall, Cornwall Wildlife Trust has spearheaded this three-year project, encompassing aerial surveys, water quality tests, and trialing new restoration methods, all to expand the seagrass bed within the Trust's Fal-Ruan nature reserve. Together with Seasalt employees, Cornwall Wildlife Trust's devoted team of volunteers has dedicated 120 hours to collecting and planting seeds. However, the journey doesn't end there—exciting updates lie ahead - Keep up to date with the Wildlife Trust work on seagrass to discover more!

And if you’re keen to get involved, meet like minded people and learn more about seagrass check out the Wildlife Trusts upcoming volunteer opportunities here;

Alongside the restoration work being carried out by Cornwall Wildlife Trusts Seeding Change Together Project, Falmouth Marine Conservation is working to help protect seagrass beds and spread awareness within the community. As well as snorkel safari sessions, which showcase the mesmerizing world of seagrass, FMC has launched a citizen science project. As part of Natural England ReMEDIES project, FMC have joined up with other local marine groups to monitor recreational boat usage over the local seagrass beds within the summer months. These surveys will be used to collect data to evidence the need for additional maker buoys over the seagrass meadows, and provide the community with unique opportunities to learn about seagrass and aid in its protection. If you’d like to help, stay tuned to find out more information about the dates of these surveys! (or any other work of FMC!)

The safeguarding of these ecosystems is crucial for a sustainable future. There are numerous ways to protect seagrass meadows but perhaps the easiest is to stay informed and spread awareness of their plight. By following various marine conservation groups here in Cornwall you can stay tuned in to seagrass initiatives, research findings and upcoming events! Consider spreading awareness -  whether through social media or face-to-face conversations, your advocacy can inspire others to join the movement!

So whether you’re getting involved in restoration, submitting pictures of seagrass on the seagrass spotter app, or having a chat in the pub about our recreational boat surveys, you can help make a stand for seagrass!

Snorkel Safari dates and Eventbrite links:

22nd September 3-5pm (ticket link available soon)


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