Project Seagrass: Restoration underway to bring back plant to UK coast

  • Watch the report by ITV's Lauren Hall

A team of scientists on the Isle of Wight are researching seagrass as a natural remedy for climate change.

It's the only flowering marine plant and has a remarkable ability to suck up carbon quicker than trees.

However, seagrass meadows across the UK coast are disappearing at an alarming rate, which is why restoration projects have been set up to bring back thousands of hectares.

Dr Richard Unsworth, Director, Project Seagrass says although they are currently working at the rate of allotment gardening, they are working on ways to try and restore large areas of the plant.

He says: "This can have a fundamental impact on coastal biodiversity, supporting fisheries and locking away carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere."

  • Dr Richard Unsworth, Director, Project Seagrass:

The scientists spend a lot of time monitoring the seagrass meadows and collecting specimens.

These seagrass samples are taken back to base and are analysed by the rest of the team.

The seeds will then be used and planted in areas where it has been lost.

Yasmin Meeda, Marine Biologist says there has been a 92% loss of seagrass in the UK since the last century.

This is due to mining, dredging and pollution that's gone into the oceans.

She says: "These restoration projects will help to replant some of these seagrasses to actually be able to mitigate the impacts of climate change as they are able to take up carbon in the process of photosynthesis and can also protect the coastlines from storm surges and sea level rises."

  • Yasmin Meeda, Marine Biologist:

Seagrass restoration projects are still in their early stages, but if they're successful, we could be seeing a lot more of it on our coastline.