We did it
On 7th December 2021 we successfully raised £19,052 ( + est. £307.50 Gift Aid ) with 168 supporters in 42 days

To fund the growth and development of our seagrass nursery which will support seagrass meadow restoration projects across the UK.

by Project Seagrass in Carmarthen, Wales, United Kingdom

 New stretch target

Any extra funds we raise will all go into increasing the scope of this project. We will constantly be aiming to grow this project every step of the way, and there is so much more we would like to achieve past this initial set up phase. 

About us

Project Seagrass is an environmental charity that was formed in 2013 by three likeminded individuals, Ben Jones, Richard Lilley (RJ) and Richard Unsworth. With the goal to conserve seagrass ecosystems through education, research and action.  

Since it was founded, Project Seagrass has not only grown in size but also in it's ambition! We now work with other organisations and communities across the UK to replant and restore large areas of seagrass meadows that have been lost or damaged. We do this through collecting, processing and replanting seeds in areas that are viable for seagrass growth and recovery. 

Why seagrass?

There's a lot more than meets the eye with seagrass meadows! Not only are they a beautiful habitat that protects our coastal biodiversity. Seagrass is also a climate hero! 

We are starting to see the devastating effects that climate change is having on our planet and seagrass could be one of the solutions. It has the ability to absorb and store vast amounts of carbon from our atmosphere. Currently, seagrasses occupy 0.1% of the seafloor, yet are responsible for 11% of the organic carbon buried in the ocean. Seagrass meadows, mangroves and coastal wetlands capture carbon at a rate greater than that of tropical forests. 

About this project

Currently, for our restoration projects, seed harvesting is carefully carried out on existing protected meadows around the UK. Our team hand picks all our seeds with the tide or through diving. These seeds are then sorted and processed before being planted back out to restore areas within Wales, England and Scotland. Due to the sheer scale of restoration required to recover seagrass meadows, we needed to find a way to turn our restoration up a notch.

This year we have started working towards developing a large scale seagrass nursery, the first of it's kind in the UK! A successful and productive seagrass nursery would allow us to cultivate and harvest seeds for our restoration projects on a much larger scale. The development and management of a nursery would allow the genetic diversity of seeds to be carefully planned and monitored, would significantly reduce the cost of seed collection and would reduce the health and safety risks of current collection techniques as well as allowing us to collect more seeds annually. All of this will help us at Project Seagrass, and support other projects too, to reach the ambitious goal of restoring 2,500 hectare's of seagrass in the UK by 2050. 

How we would use the Aviva Community Fund

Right now we are at the beginning of this project, working from the ground up...literally. Partnering with Salix River & Wetland Services, we have an area of land on a working ragworm farm based in Laugharne, Wales. And with funding and support we have the dream of this being a successful running nursery to cultivate mature plants for us to collect seeds, which will then be used in our restoration projects. 

The equation is simple, the more funds we can raise towards the project, the faster we can develop the seagrass nursery. We would use  Aviva Community Fund to enable us to build the polytunnels we need and to set up systems to bring this project to life. The best part about being part of this project so early on is you get to see the impact your funds have on the project. 

It doesn't end there either! This is an opportunity to create a blueprint for UK seagrass restoration, bringing together knowledge from existing projects in order to ensure future efforts are even more successful. Without investments like this, seagrass restoration at scale will not be possible.

Thank you, 

Elise de Tourtoulon-Adams

Seagrass Aquarist. 


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