Carbon Offset – SeaGrass Grow!
The Ocean Foundation’s SeaGrass Grow! program offers opportunities to naturally offset greenhouse gas emissions in the ocean – known as “Blue Carbon.” The Ocean Foundation has created the first ever blue carbon calculator and blue carbon offsets program, allowing individuals and business to offset their carbon footprint in the ocean through seagrass restoration and protection. Each donation made to the Seagrass Grow! program goes towards:
- In-water restoration of damaged seagrass meadows, or replanting of seagrass meadows. Current restoration efforts take place along the Gulf Coast.
- Educating the public about the status, value, ecology, conservation and restoration of seagrasses along our coasts and estuaries.
- Empowering the public to conserve and protect seagrass resources by informing them of the importance, benefits and vulnerabilities of seagrasses.
- Seagrass meadows provide valuable ecosystem services to coastal communities by providing food and habitat for thousands of juvenile marine species. Manatee, dugong, and some species of sea turtle graze seagrass as their primary food source.
- Seagrass if vital for the health and survival of sea turtle populations. As mentioned above, seagrass is the primary food source for some species of sea turtle. Additionally, invertebrate prey such as blue crabs, favored by other species of turtles, rely on seagrass as developmental habitat.
- Seagrass meadows prevent erosion by trapping sediment and stabilizing the seafloor, they also protect coastal communities from hurricanes by dissipating the wave energy from storm surges.
- Seagrass meadows sequester carbon for centuries, helping to reduce atmospheric greenhouse gases and prevent climate change.
- Seagrass meadows can store up to 83,000 metric tons of carbon per square kilometer compared to terrestrial forests, which store about 30,000 metric tons per square kilometer.
- Human activities, both from large-scale effects such as pollution and global warming to smaller scale events such as propeller strikes and boat groundings. The damage a boat propeller can do in 5 seconds can take 5-50 years to heal.
- Coastal development such as resorts, bridges, piers, residential communities and marinas often require the dredging of adjacent seagrass meadows during construction.
- Injuries from boat strikes such as propeller scars and blowholes can usually be stabilized with containerized sediment.