A Swansea charity that is working to restore seagrass meadows around the world has linked up with British rock group Coldplay.
The band, considered one of the most successful artists of the 21st century, with 100 million albums sold worldwide, have become patrons of Project Seagrass.
Ben Jones, the co-founder of Project Seagrass, said having Coldplay on board is “phenomenal”.
The charity made contact with Grammy award-winning act ahead of their latest world tour, although they were shocked when the group's management informed them of the band's support.
“If you don't ask you don't get,” Ben said.
“That's basically how we landed this amazing opportunity with Coldplay being our patrons.
“They are now global ambassadors for seagrass conservation which is just phenomenal to have such support from a band like that. It’s amazing to think this started off in a bedroom in Swansea and it’s now caught the imagination of Coldplay!”
Project Seagrass is based at Swansea University. Since 2013, the charity has worked to restore seagrass stocks around the world.
It is estimated that between 40 and 90 per cent of seagrass meadows have been destroyed by pollution and dredging.
Ben said that is contributing to the climate change crisis we are facing.
“Seagrass acts as a carbon sink. They take carbon from the atmosphere, draw it into their tissues and then lock it away in the sediment below them.”
“Some of the oldest known seagrass meadows are up to two-hundred-thousand years old and they likely sit on carbon stores of a similar age so protecting them is vital.”
Evie Furness is a research assistant working for Project Seagrass, she is tasked with diving into seas and hand collecting seeds that are then cared for at a lab within the university.
“It looks like grass on land, and just as that has a seed head, so does seagrass looking like a pod of peas. We need those seeds to be able to plant seagrass elsewhere so, we go out as a team with scuba diving gear, swim to the bottom of the sea and we hand collect seeds.”
On teaming up with Coldplay, Evie said: “It’s really exciting! It’s so great to have them on board.”