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Celebrating World Seagrass Day

Seagrasses are vital marine ecosystems, enhancing biodiversity, improving water quality and potentially sequestering carbon from the atmosphere. On World Seagrass Day, let's recognise their crucial role in sustaining our oceans and combating climate change.

 

DHI is engaged in a new research project together with Roskilde University and Deakin University (Melbourne, Australia), to outline innovative methods to restore seagrass ecosystems in Danish waters. The project aims to test a novel methodology to utilise otherwise unfavourable sediment for seagrass transplantation. The project team will be using biodegradable 3D printed BESE-elements® in collaboration with BlueCarbonLab to secure seagrass transplants in previously unsuitable coastal zones. The biodegradable elements are made of compostable potato starch from industrial waste and produced by BESE-products.

 

We will support this project with an assessment of the positive effects on biodiversity and address the question of whether eelgrass meadows develop to the same degree as eelgrass transplanted in favourable sediments. ‘Supporting the project with our modelling technology will give insights into the scalability potential of this transplantation method,’ says Verena Schrameyer, DHI Senior Marine Ecologist and Global Biodiversity Lead Marine & Coast. ‘We will also be providing an areal biodiversity footprint analysis by applying DHI’s biodiversity valuation tool, EBM BioQ.’

 

Kasper Elgetti Brodersen, Associate Professor in Seagrass Ecophysiology at Roskilde University and leader of the project, adds, ‘Seagrass ecosystem restoration is a key part of Denmark’s climate mitigation strategy. This project is an opportunity to expand current best practices to increase the scope of seagrass restoration as a viable and scalable climate mitigation strategy. To turn strategy into action, we need to invest in novel techniques and technology to make large-scale seagrass restoration a reality.’

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