Seagrass Restoration Handbook

Organisation: Environment Agency

Location: UK and Ireland

Type: Technical Support & Training

This Seagrass Restoration Handbook provides foundational and practical guidance on the restoration and conservation of seagrasses and seagrass beds in the UK and Ireland with a focus on the Zostera species Z. marina and Z. noltei. The guidance outlined is also relevant to restoration projects across the biogeographic range of these seagrass species.

To restore seagrass habitats, with the many ecosystem services they provide, will require a combination of approaches depending on the location, surrounding landscape and extent of degradation or loss. This handbook aims to shed light on these different approaches, and to support small-scale projects but ultimately with an ambition to facilitate larger seagrass seascape restoration efforts.

The handbook is aimed at catchment/coastal partnerships, eNGOs and community groups looking to undertake their own seagrass restoration project. It aims to lead to the creation of more seagrass habitat, leading to (amongst others..) improved biodiversity & water quality, adaption to climate risks, and carbon benefits.

What's included

  • An introduction to seagrass beds, threats to existing habitats, their ecological importance, and the concept of restoring resilient habitats. (Chapter 1);
  • Information about starting a restoration project including choosing a site, project planning and the licensing process (Chapter 2);
  • Guidance on the different seagrass restoration approaches and methods (Chapter 3);
  • Guidance on how to effectively monitor change following restoration (Chapter 4); and
  • An outline of how to successfully communicate a seagrass restoration project during its planning and implementation (Chapter 5).

This handbook is one of a quartet of restoration guidelines, along with those developed for native oyster reefs, saltmarsh, and for restoring coastal habitats using dredged sediments.

Partners: Environment Agency, Zoological Society of London, University of Portsmouth, University of Swansea, Project Seagrass, University of Portsmouth, CQ University, Ischia Centre, Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, World Resources Institute.

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