Protect the remaining seagrass meadows, one of the world’s most endangered and least understood ecosystems, critical for food security and carbon storage.
Seagrasses are undersea flowering plants that cover tens of thousands of square miles of coastal habitat worldwide, supporting hundreds of threatened or endangered animals. Manatees and sea turtles eat seagrasses, juvenile fish shelter in their meadows, and plant blades harbor tiny shellfish. Seagrass sediments sequester millions of metric tons of atmospheric carbon each year while protecting corals and shellfish from ocean acidification. Seagrasses support local fisheries, providing food security for millions of people, including many Indigenous communities. Nearly a third of historic seagrasses have disappeared and continue to decline by up to 7 percent per year. Less studied and protected than other ecosystems, seagrass meadows are difficult and expensive to restore. It is imperative to stop further damage and protect all remaining seagrasses.