There are currently 142 records of eelgrass on the island of Ireland collected by Seasearch divers, north and south, in the Biodiversity Ireland mapping portal for 2003-2019 with more on the way. While there’s been excellent work so far Seasearch Ireland would like to do more so we’re starting the seagrass project, a broad idea at the moment, looking to collaborate with other groups and researchers working on this habitat and to increase public awareness.
In 2023 we’re looking to partner with a number of individuals and groups already doing exciting work in this area as well as hosting some special workshops.
We’re delighted to have started working with Ed Sheldon who’s already engaged in some amazing work mapping the extent of his local seagras beds in Kerry. Ed has offered to help Seasearch recorders collect data on the extent of their local seagrass bed and convert it into maps of the extent of the seagrass beds. This would allow recorders to measure the blue carbon potential of their local site, track the change in the size of the bed over time through repeated surveys and (using previously collected Seasearch data) look to see what species are associated with their seagrass bed.
We’re encouraging existing Seasearch recorders to take the time this summer to go out and survey their local seagrass patch, asking divers or snorkelers who aren’t currently recording to sign up for training so they can submit their own recorders and working with the Galway Atlantaquarium to highlight this unique and beautiful species.
We’d also encourage anyone who’s interested to think about adopting their local eel grass site as part of the National Marine Monitoring Scheme.
As we expand this project we’ll add more details here and if anyone has any ideas on how directions they’d like to see us take the project email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.