Leading renewable energy company Ørsted and marine charity Ocean Conservation Trust have joined forces on an innovative scheme to help people avoid damaging precious seagrass meadows.
The Blue Meadows marker buoy initiative aims to address a principal problem of seagrass conservation – identifying the location of seagrass beds to swimmers, fishers and others using the water. By clearly signalling where seagrass beds are found, Blue Meadows is helping swimmers, divers, fishers and boat enthusiasts to avoid them and prevent damage from anchoring. The scheme will also raise awareness with as many people as possible about the existence and importance of seagrass.
Seagrass is a valuable solution to climate change, due to its huge capacity for carbon absorption. Similar to the way trees take carbon from the air, seagrass takes carbon from water – and can do this as least as efficiently as tropical rainforests. It also provides a biodiversity-rich habitat for several species, including commercially important fish species and charismatic, endangered seahorses, as well as helping protect against tidal erosion and improving water quality.
This work builds on Ørsted’s long-term commitment to environmentally responsible wind farm development and aligns with The Crown Estate’s accountability for enhancing marine biodiversity. Importantly to Ørsted, the Blue Meadows initiative presents an opportunity to deliver benefits to biodiversity at a sea-scape level and is another step towards achieving the company’s promise to deliver a net-positive biodiversity impact for all projects commissioned from 2030 onwards.
Ørsted’s work with the Ocean Conservation Trust will be ongoing and the next stage in the journey will be to explore a range of innovative solutions, including new approaches to speed and scale up seagrass restoration.
Photo credit: Mark Parry