by Abi Siri Andersen

See seagrass

Though no proud forest
or bright coral, your death is
as devastating.

I had never read about seagrass before I was given the task of writing a pledge for this project. Rainforests, in all their majesty and beauty, have taken up much of the media coverage when it comes to looking at the acceleration of climate change and what we can do about it. There are countless tree-planting projects and activists who will tie themselves to trees to protect them – and rightly so. Trees are wondrous and our planet needs them. But seagrass, this unsexy, unseen, marine plant, can soak up carbon dioxide 35 times faster than rainforests. So why are we not lashing ourselves to the seabed to protect it? Why are there so few articles written about it? 

Rebecca Dowman’s excellent essay on seagrass says it all. She describes the ‘charisma gap’ between the ‘deceptively dull-looking city gent’ and its incredible function as the ‘superhero of plants’. My pledge is to write a piece of fiction that tells the story of this heroic habitat. 

See seagrass and weep
for its unphotogenic
death. Carbon un-sunk.

Show seagrass

We need photographers, film-makers, artists and illustrators to take on the mission of showing seagrass to the world: catch the sunlight as it filters through the underwater meadows, show off the crabs, sea snails, cuttlefish, sea turtles and seahorses who make their homes here. 

Is a seagrass flower beautiful or interesting? Perhaps it could be, given the right encouragement by a skilled photographer. Give the plant some humble majesty or an eerie magic. Create an underwater wonderland with seagrass as the backdrop. 

I’ve found one great video of seagrass that was made in 2016. And of course, 26 graphic designer Lydia Thornley has created beautiful illustrations for the 26 Habitats project. We need more. 

Write seagrass

Seagrass matters! Find out where it is being destroyed and why. It’s not an Amazonian rainforest or a tropical coral reef, but it’s equally important. It’s here in the UK and something that we really can do something about. If we know about it… Some journalists are starting to report on seagrass, but we need more articles, to push this superhero of plants into the public consciousness.

Project Seagrass suggests a number of ways to get involved in the protection of seagrass. I’ve downloaded their Seagrass Spotter app and I’m hoping to identify some when I go on a coastal break in Dorset next month. 

I will write you a
sea story love letter that 
sees seagrass and hopes. 

Read Rebecca Dowman’s 26 Habitats seagrass centena and essay.

Read Philip Roger’s 26 Habitats seagrass centena and essay.

2 thoughts on “Seagrass meadows

  1. Abi’s call to arms is to unleash our creativity and introduce the unsung, unseen heroes in nature, which is a great challenge!

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