THE Grapevine
Good Organic Gardening|July - August 2021
ENVIRONMENTAL NEWS AND UPDATES
JO IMMIG

WELCOME GOOD NEWS IN COASTAL RESTORATION

Coastal ecosystems across the globe including salt marshes, mangroves, seagrasses, oyster reefs, kelp beds and coral reefs have declined by up to 85 per cent over decades, according to CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere Senior Research Scientist Dr Megan Saunders.

Dr Saunders is part of a collaborative research team looking at successful marine restoration examples, or “bright spots”, from around the world that could be deployed more widely in similar marine environments to help restore these critical ecosystems.

“A range of techniques have resulted in significant restoration of salt marshes, coral reefs and seagrass meadows over extended periods of time,” Dr Saunders said.

“In the USA, the propagation and dispersal of seagrass seeds resulted in seagrass meadows recovering in areas where they had been lost many decades ago, removing an estimated 170 tonnes of nitrogen and 630 tonnes of carbon per year from the atmosphere.”

In Australia, the CSIRO is successfully harvesting coral larvae in the Great Barrier Reef to boost largescale coral restoration efforts and is also making headway with improving techniques to replant saltmarshes.

Coastal marine restoration, as well as its protection from further degradation, is a critical nature-based solution to the impacts of global climate change.

The United Nations General Assembly calls for ecosystem restoration to be a primary intervention strategy used to counter the continued loss of natural habitats worldwide while supporting human health and wellbeing globally.

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