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Biology | Climate


Clark Cotton


For millennia, various seagrass species have been sequestering and anchoring aquatic carbon into oceanic sediment. The crucial role of seagrasses involves helping mitigate climate change, which emphasizes the urgent need to conserve, sustain, and manage them as part of global climate action efforts. Restoration and conservation studies have shown significant reversal of potential damaging effects, however human activity continues to set back efforts faster than they can proceed. Multiple studies have concluded that there has been a decline in seagrass meadows in previously dense areas; and due to this, surrounding pH levels have declined and rising atmospheric carbon poses a threat to the ecosystem. In areas that were previously populated with seagrass, erosion can release sedimentary carbon that has been locked in the root-level sediment for possibly thousands of years. Going forward, it would be advantageous to restrict threatening practices to seagrass meadows, such as net fishing, trawling, and seismic testing. There are some things that are out of our control, such as tsunamis and hurricanes capable of wiping out meadows in one catastrophic event, so any efforts to reduce damage to these ecosystems are beneficial.