The three-year LIFE Recreation ReMEDIES project aims to protect vital seagrass meadows located in Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) around the UK’s South and East coast.
The project will provide environmentally friendly moorings, voluntary codes, targeted training and habitat restoration, and it hopes to restore eight hectares of beds that have been lost due to the impact of unsustainable water use.
The five project areas set to benefit include Plymouth Sound & Estuaries in the South West, the Solent Maritime, the Isles of Scilly, Fal & Helford.
The Ocean Conservation Trust will be cultivating up to 25,000 plants a year in its laboratory at the National Marine Aquarium to restore up to four hectares of lost seagrass meadows in the Plymouth Sound, and work has already started following the first seed collection.
The lab is expected to open for public viewing at the end of March and will allow Aquarium visitors to see the plant cultivation in action whilst learning more about the importance of seagrass.
As part of the ReMEDIES projects, the Ocean Conservation Trust will be providing educational programmes to schools located within the project area and working with the Royal Yachting Association to develop behaviour change in recreational water users.
Nicola Bridge, head of conservation education and communication at the Ocean Conservation Trust, said: “At the Ocean Conservation Trust, our two key focuses are habitat restoration and behaviour change, and this project is the perfect opportunity to combine the two and make a real difference.
"As a charity, we recognise that habitat restoration must be coupled with education and behaviour change in order to make an impact – one without the other isn’t enough."
This article is based on a press release from the Oceans Conservation Trust.
Image: Derek Keats, Flickr.