The inaugural UK Seagrass Symposium took place in November, which brought together leading experts in seagrass conservation from across the UK.
The Ocean Conservation Trust (OCT) and Cornwall Wildlife Trust hosted a two-day Seagrass Symposium, bringing together practitioners, scientists, managers and communities from across the country for a very special two days.
For the first time ever, hundreds of people gathered to highlight the seagrass conservation successes happening across the UK, but also to discuss the challenges of conserving this important habitat.
Through a series of inspiring talks and engaging workshops, knowledge and experiences were shared on UK seagrass science, policy and management. Topics covered seagrass ecology/biology, threats, protection and management, restoration, ecosystem services, financing and scaling up.
Mark Parry, Head of Ocean Habitat Restoration, at Ocean Conservation Trust, said: “The Seagrass Symposium was the first event of its kind, and it was brilliant to bring together so many experts and leaders who all share the same passion for protecting and restoring our seabed. It was an honour to host this event and have so many brilliant people together under one roof. Being able to share our latest developments in seagrass, discover what other people are finding out through their research and just learn from each other about what else can be done to save our ocean was truly inspiring.”
It was clear that there is already lots of collaboration already happening, and by coming together as one voice, this passionate group can provide clarity to the Government and its advisors when they are making policy decisions involving the fate of our ocean and its important habitats. Seagrass conservation has really gathered momentum in the UK over the last few years, and it’s not coming to an end any time soon.
Matt Slater, Marine Conservation Officer at Cornwall Wildlife Trust, said: “The symposium was a brilliant and well-timed event that allowed marine biologists from around the British Isles to connect, to share ideas and experiences and to charge up their enthusiasm for ocean restoration.
“Cornwall Wildlife Trust are delighted to have played a part in making this happen and we feel the event will have a lasting legacy as seagrass monitoring and restoration is something that is increasingly important and vital for our future on this planet.”
People are integral to save important ocean habitats like seagrass. By coming together as a community at the Symposium, and beyond, there is a genuine opportunity to make a real difference. In an exciting closing session of the Symposium, it was announced that this event will continue bi-annually, with Project Seagrass being the next hosts in 2025.