Seagrass protection campaign expands global coverage
The ‘#protectourbeds´ campaign, organised between non-profit Clean Sailors, the Ocean Conservation Trust and navigation app Savvy Navvy, has expanded its global coverage of seagrass meadows thanks to data from new contributors.
Only three months after the launch of the campaign, which is digitally mapping sensitive seabeds and eco-moorings across boating hotspots around the world, additional seagrass data from the Channel Islands is now live in the Savvy Navvy app, thanks to contributions from Bailiwick Eelgrass Exploration Project (BEEP) partners in Guernsey and Alderney and the Government of Jersey.
“We are thrilled to help develop this initiative with all the partners involved,” says Dr Mel Broadhurst-Allen, living seas coordinator of the Alderney Wildlife Trust, part of BEEP. “The Savvy Navvy app provides a wonderful new platform for us to showcase our amazing Eelgrass beds and citizen science research. More importantly, it provides marine users with the chance to anchor outside the beds, thus reducing any potential impacts upon these sensitive habitats.”
Seagrasses combat climate change by absorbing and storing huge amounts of carbon, but are estimated to be the fastest disappearing habitat on the planet mainly due to avoidable human activity.
“The project always planned to bring together UK-wide sensitive seabed data and then focus on European waters, but we have been overwhelmed by contributors and are excited to have so many partners come forward in such a short period of time,” says Holly Manvell, founder of Clean Sailors. “Making this data visible in the Savvy Navvy app to those of us who can mitigate our impact when boating, across the world, is incredibly exciting and just makes so much sense to seagrass conservation efforts.”
Data from the US, and Europe has been collated and is set to be added to the navigation app next.
“While Savvy Navvy is all about simplifying boating technology by making navigation safe and easy for everyone, innovative campaigns helping boaters to make better choices when out on the water is something we feel very strongly about,” says David Cusworth, head of innovation and partnerships at Savvy Navvy.
“It’s great seeing the seagrass coverage expanding in our app. Together with our campaign partners, we continue to actively seek more eco-moorings in the UK and around the world, as we break down barriers to boating and help people get out onto the water, we need to make sure we do so sustainably. Cleaner boating is better boating.”
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