Interpretation boards help boat users navigate sensitive seabed habitats.
The new seagrass information boards in Plymouth are the first to be installed at marinas and harbours in five key seagrass sites in the South of England. The first of these boards, funded by the LIFE Recreation ReMEDIES Project, have been installed at six marinas across Plymouth, including Queen Anne’s Battery Marina, last week.
The Project is a marine conservation partnership to #SaveOurSeabed at five Special Areas of Conservation through seagrass restoration and education. Funded by the LIFE programme and led by Natural England, project partners include the Royal Yachting Association (RYA), The Green Blue, the Ocean Conservation Trust, the Marine Conservation Society, Plymouth City Council and the Tamar and Estuaries Consultative Forum.
The boards, produced by the RYA’s environment programme, The Green Blue, highlights where these sensitive habitat areas are located on the seabed, helping recreational water users to identify areas to avoid anchoring in. They also give practical tips to help boat users safely secure their boats whilst helping to minimise damage to seabed habitats below.
Seagrass, often referred to as the ‘lungs of the sea,’ plays a vital role in our marine ecosystems. The seagrass in Plymouth Sound alone removes enough sediment, excess nutrients, and pollutants to fill an Olympic swimming pool every two-years. However, increasing environmental stresses pose a growing threat to these delicate plants.
Representatives from each of the Project partners met at Queen Anne’s Battery Marina to unveil their new board to visitors. Robert Perry, the QAB Marina Supervisor also attended the launch. Installation of awareness boards for the other project sites will follow later in the year.
Commenting on the importance of raising awareness of this special habitat, Kate Fortnam, Campaigns Manager, The Green Blue, said:
“It has been fantastic to work with Project Partners on the creation of these information boards. Seagrass is a highly effective carbon absorber, supporting seagrass to thrive is helping more than just underwater habitats.
“We hope the information boards will enable boat users to make more sustainable choices when anchoring and mooring in the Plymouth area. The boards also display the Voluntary No Anchor Zone at Jenny Cliff Bay – a significant site in the Project which has benefitted from seagrass re-planting.”
Muriel Plaster, Natural England ReMEDIES site lead for Plymouth, said:
“I am thrilled to see the unveiling of the seagrass awareness boards at marinas across Plymouth, a vital step in our commitment to preserving and protecting our delicate marine ecosystems.
“These boards, made possible by the LIFE Recreation ReMEDIES Project and our dedicated partners, empower boat users with the knowledge they need to navigate our seas sustainably. Let’s ensure that the ‘lungs of the sea’ continue to thrive, as we work together to #SaveOurSeabed and safeguard our precious seagrass habitats.”
Councillor Tom Briars–Delve, Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change at Plymouth City Council, said:
“I’m really pleased to see that Plymouth is the first in the South-West to have the seagrass information boards installed as part of this exciting project. Plymouth leads the way in the fields of ocean science, conservation and technology, and it is really important to protect our sea life and promote awareness of these habitats and their significance.”
The seagrass awareness boards have been installed at the following Plymouth marinas:
MDL Queen Anne’s Battery Marina
King Point Marina
Sutton Harbour Marina
Yacht Haven Quay Marina
Yacht Haven Plymouth Marina
Learn more about the LIFE Recreation ReMEDIES Project by visiting the Project website, or by following #SaveOurSeabed on social media.