Friday, December 10, 2010

Seagrass Field Trip

10 Dec 2010 -- The seagrass meadows of Biscayne Bay, Florida, was the focus of an international outing on Wednesday (Dec. 7).

Marine managers and conservationists from the Americas and Caribbean were joined by The Ocean Foundation, and Blue Climate Solutions in exploring the ecosystem services of Florida’s seagrass ecosystems.

Topics discussed during the field trip included the impacts of boat groundings, restoration efforts, and the importance of seagrass related ecosystem services including seagrass conservation as part of the solution to climate change.

When healthy, seagrass meadows fix carbon through photosynthesis and sediment trapping, thereby mitigating greenhouse gas pollution and climate change. Seagrass meadows, along with mangrove forests and saltwater marshlands are known as Blue Carbon ecosystems.

The outing was organized as part of the 4th annual meeting of the Western Hemisphere Migratory Species Initiative (WHIMSI). WHMSI is a groundbreaking collective effort to enhance the conservation of the Western Hemisphere's migratory species by strengthening cooperation among States, international initiatives and civil society. For more information see: http://www.whmsi.net/index.cfm

Lush seagrass habitat visited during the outing (someone said the water was 75 degrees Fahrenheit, it was not, birr!).

Biscayne National Park provided transport.

Healthy seagrass meadows are vital for marine biodiversity (including Dolphins).

Mangroves of Boca Chita.

Boca Chita lighthouse.

Mangrove restoration at Dinner Key Marina.

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