Seagrass meadows are an incredible habitat which supports a variety of marine life, including the endangered seahorses, crustaceans and juvenile fish. As sea levels rise and our coast suffers erratic weather patterns, the meadows that could potentially extend along most of our east coast will help reduce coastal erosion and provide substantial carbon capturing potential.
Location: St Catherine’s Bay
Jersey’s largest seagrass meadow is in St Catherine’s bay, therefore this area is of massive importance!
The coverage of seagrass in this area has been drastically reduced by traditional mooring systems and craft movement. You can see this damage from the aerial image where the mooring ‘scars’ are visible as clear sandy patches.
As Ports of Jersey work towards the development of an environmentally friendly mooring system that works with the huge tidal range we have here in Jersey, the Jersey Marine Conservation project will be monitoring regrowth of seagrass at sites where unused moorings have been decommissioned and removed. We will also be looking in closer detail at seabed sediments, focusing on the differences found in the scar areas compared with the dense seagrass surrounding them.
Alongside this, we will be continuing Seasearch survey dives and deploy Baited Remote Underwater Video cameras (BRUVs) across the meadow to gather important data on the biodiversity supported by this key habitat. JMC will continue to support MSc seagrass and blue carbon projects from the Jersey International Centre of Advanced Studies (JICAS).
Jersey Marine Conservation will lead a team of volunteers and masters students from JICAS, who will collect and analyse the data, helping Ports of Jersey manage and conserve Jersey’s biggest individual carbon asset.