Ecologist to give talk on plight of seagrass
Bermuda’s struggling seagrass will be in the spotlight at a presentation this week by an international expert at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute.
James Fourqurean, a seagrass ecologist and professor at the Florida International University, will lead a talk tomorrow focused on the links between Bermuda’s seagrass, carbon storage and global warming.
Dr Fourqurean helped to launch the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Seagrass Monitoring Programme in 2007.
The free talk is scheduled to begin at 6pm at the BUEI Auditorium, with doors to open at 5.30pm.
Bermuda’s seagrass population is considered to be of significant importance to the marine environment as it provided shelter for a range of species, holds sediment in place and absorbs carbon in the water.
However a surge in the number of visiting green turtles has caused increased pressure on the island’s seagrass beds in recent years, resulting in the “complete collapse” of acres of seagrass and the turtle population itself.
A series of measures were introduced in 2020 to help protect seagrass, including installing cages over some patches to limit turtle grazing.
The Government has said the measures have allowed some restoration to take place, but more work must be done to protect Bermuda’s seagrass in the long term.