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Event to focus on importance of seagrass beds

Seagrass beds are a vital habitat for marine life (Photograph supplied)

A conservationist will speak about the importance of seagrass beds at an event later this week.

Sarah Manuel, the Government’s senior marine conservation officer, will also discuss green turtles, as part of an eco lunch and learn series.

The series, which is sponsored by the Bermuda College and the Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Taskforce, examines possible solutions to local and global environmental issues.

Dr Manuel started her career in Bermuda with the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries. She holds a PhD from the University of Liverpool and has more than 30 years experience researching and working with Bermuda’s marine environment, with a focus on seagrass beds.

Amy Harvey, an earth and environmental science lecturer at the Bermuda College, said that humans had damaged seagrass habitats.

“Direct activities include impacts from boating such as poorly placed anchors, sedimentation from dredging and pollution load from run-off,” she added.

“Indirect human impacts are linked to the burning of fossil fuels, which are contributing excess carbon dioxide to the environment, which ultimately heats up the atmosphere and oceans.”

Jennifer Flood, executive officer for BEST, also highlighted the significance of seagrass to the marine environment.

“A small sampling of their importance includes acting as a nursery area for juvenile fish and crustaceans, food for turtles and other marine animals; help in preventing coastal erosion and maintaining water quality.

“As ‘lungs of the ocean’ they provide oxygen and also contribute to the sequestration of carbon dioxide and can capture CO2 faster than rainforests,” she said.

The free presentation is on Thursday, between 1pm and 2pm in the Athene Room at the Bermuda College. People can also tune into it via Zoom.

The lecture will be followed by a question and answer period.

People can contact Ms Harvey at aharvey@college.bm for more information about the event.

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Published March 28, 2023 at 11:30 am (Updated March 28, 2023 at 9:03 pm)

Event to focus on importance of seagrass beds

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