A seagrass project for Lyme Bay?

“From Dornoch Firth to Lyme Bay, inspiring projects are leading the way by restoring critically important seagrass meadows, kelp forests and oyster beds. Combined with the exclusion of bottom towed trawling and dredging, such initiatives offer hope and a blueprint for bringing our precious seas back to health.”

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There is a very promising project happening just off Plymouth:

Seagrass in Plymouth Sound – Vision Group for Sidmouth

Seagrass in Plymouth Sound: ‘new milestone’ – Vision Group for Sidmouth

In fact, things are happening in many places around the peninsula:

Restoring the South West’s seagrass – Vision Group for Sidmouth

It’s all very inspiring:

The Seagrass Walk: science inspiring art – Sidmouth Solarpunk

And extremely useful, for all sorts of reasons:

Seagrass as ecosystem service: naturally removing plastics – Vision Group for Sidmouth

There is some seagrass in these parts:

Seagrass in Lyme Bay – Vision Group for Sidmouth

But could this be further encouraged?

There are other projects around the country which are looking very promising – and which might provide a model for Lyme Bay:

There is SeaGrown, which is about the ‘wild ocean farming’ of seaweed – at Scarborough:

Here on the Yorkshire Coast, SeaGrown is developing an exciting new marine industry for the UK. With support from the Coastal Communities Fund we are establishing a seaweed farm in the clean, cold, open waters of the North Sea. Our pioneering seaweed farm will ethically produce a sustainable crop which British customers and Industry can use in lots of innovative ways – from biodegradable plastics to a new source of pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, textiles and biochemicals.

SeaGrown

In August 2021 we launched our very first crowdfunding project entitled ‘Turning the Tide on Climate Change’ and on 8th September 2021 we successfully raised £27,834 with 207 supporters in 28 days.

Seaweed & Carbon – SeaGrown

Then there is Seawilding, which is trying to restore seagrass habitats – which would allow for native oyster production – at Argyll:

Seawilding, based at Loch Craignish, Argyll, is the UK’s first community-led native oyster and seagrass restoration project. Our aim is to restore lost biodiversity, sequester carbon, and to create green jobs. We’re pioneering low-cost, best-practice marine habitat restoration methodologies and empowering other coastal communities to do the same.

Seawilding | Native Oyster and Seagrass Restoration, Loch Craignish, Scotland

Do you know what’s in our seas or the health of the UK’s coastlines? A passionate community based in Argyll, Scotland took to the waters of Loch Craignish to find out.
What they found ignited a community-led project to restore seagrass habitats and the native oyster population.
Now known as Seawilding, the charity is pioneering new habitat restoration methodologies to boost marine biodiversity and empower other coastal communities to do the same.

Seawilding: Saving Scotland’s Seagrass | pebble magazine

With a video just out this weekend:

Introduction to Seawilding for 2022 – YouTube

Could a similar project happen in Lyme Bay?

The UK government is interested:

Transforming UK offshore marine algae biomass production

There is interest in sustainable fishing:

Lyme Bay – Blue Marine FoundationBlue Marine Foundation

To the south of the Bay, there have already been substantive studies carried out:

Lyme Bay and Torbay cSAC, Torbay Seagrass Bed Monitoring Surveys 2008, DDV – RP02989

The Bay has a Marine Protected Area after all:

Science | Lyme Bay Fisheries & Conservation Reserve

And there’s real interest in current and potential projects:

“From Dornoch Firth to Lyme Bay, inspiring projects are leading the way by restoring critically important seagrass meadows, kelp forests and oyster beds. Combined with the exclusion of bottom towed trawling and dredging, such initiatives offer hope and a blueprint for bringing our precious seas back to health.”

Report: Blue carbon strategy will be key to reach net zero by 2050 – Climate Action

Governments urged to back blue carbon aquaculture initiatives | The Fish Site

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