Seagrass Awareness Month:
Seagrass & Salem Sound Coastwatch
This March marks the 21st annual Seagrass Awareness Month. Seagrass, the namesake of Seagrass Salem, is one of the oldest living organisms on Earth. Seagrass is an integral part of our ocean’s ecosystems, especially the coastline of Massachusetts. It covers less than 0.2% of the ocean floor, but stores about 10% of the carbon in the oceans each year. Sadly, it is being lost at a rate of 1.5% per year and has lost approximately 30% of historical global coverage. Seagrass meadows play a key role in nutrient cycling, providing food and shelter for fish and invertebrates, and offering a critical habitat for commercially important finfish and shellfish species. Seagrass physically protects our shorelines by dampening wave energy, reducing beach erosion.
Our partnership with the Salem Sound Coastwatch is designed to promote awareness and action in support of seagrass in our local habitats and the environment at large. The Seagrass brand is inspired by our proximity to the ocean and our commitment to promote and protect healthy local coastal habitats that are vitally important to our culture, recreation and economy.
During the month of March, Seagrass has partnered with our friends from Revolutionary Clinics to offer four different strains of pre-rolls in Sana Packaging tubes. Sana Packaging uses 100% plant-based hemp packaging, 100% reclaimed ocean plastic, and other sustainable materials in its packaging. In addition to our annual partnership, we will donate $5 from the sale of each of these pre-rolls to Salem Sound Coastwatch.
SSCW has offered up a few suggestions of what you can do to help protect local seagrass.
What can you do?
Think Globally. Act Locally!
- Start in your own backyard – Minimize use of fertilizer and use only organic fertilizers. Learn more about Greenscapes.
- Keep it clean – Buy environmentally friendly cleaners and dispose of hazardous materials properly.
- Be septic savvy – Be sure your septic system is functioning properly.
- Be a responsible boater – Avoid anchoring in eelgrass beds, lift your motor when passing over a bed, always discharge waste at a pump out station, and use eelgrass friendly moorings.
- Get involved! – Lobby representatives to support legislation to improve water quality.
- Show your support/ Become a Volunteer!
- Support SSCW. Help us to protect and restore marine habitats.
- Reduce your carbon footprint. carbonrally.com and carbonfootprint.com
- Contact your government representatives. Let them know that the government must take a lead in reducing CO2 immediately.
- Purchase sustainable seafood and locally grown food.
- Do not use plastics, and if you do, always recycle.
- Reduce, reuse, recycle
- Reduce your driving and purchase an electric car.
- Demand alternative energies. Sign up for New England Green Start to support alternatives for energy generation, like wind and solar.
- Follow what Massachusetts is doing to reduce fossil fuel use:
Massachusetts Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2020
- Support Salem Sound Coastwatch and other environmental groups.
Check out these links for more information on seagrass and further ocean conservation efforts:
- Why We Need Seagrass
- Ocean Conservancy | Seagrass: The Ocean’s Unsung Hero
- Seagrass Soundings Blog
- Salem Sound Coastwatch – About Us
- MA Division of Marine Fisheries | Historic Eelgrass Trends in Salem Sound June 2017
- MassDEP | Eelgrass Mapping Project
- The Economist Group | World Ocean Initiative
- The Blue Carbon Initiative
- Science News | Seagrasses Can Store as Much Carbon as Forests