Seagrass Restoration Is Possible: Insights and Lessons From Australia and New Zealand

Last modified: 
August 24, 2020 - 12:40pm
Type: Journal Article
Year of publication: 2020
Date published: 08/2020
Authors: Yi Tan, Oliver Dalby, Gary Kendrick, John Statton, Elizabeth Sinclair, Matthew Fraser, Peter Macreadie, Chris Gillies, Rhys Coleman, Michelle Waycott, Kor-jent van Dijk, Adriana Vergés, Jeff Ross, Marnie Campbell, Fleur Matheson, Emma Jackson, Andrew Irving, Laura Govers, Rod Connolly, Ian McLeod, Michael Rasheed, Hugh Kirkman, Mogens Flindt, Troels Lange, Adam Miller, Craig Sherman
Journal title: Frontiers in Marine Science
Volume: 7

Seagrasses are important marine ecosystems situated throughout the world’s coastlines. They are facing declines around the world due to global and local threats such as rising ocean temperatures, coastal development and pollution from sewage outfalls and agriculture. Efforts have been made to reduce seagrass loss through reducing local and regional stressors, and through active restoration. Seagrass restoration is a rapidly maturing discipline, but improved restoration practices are needed to enhance the success of future programs. Major gaps in knowledge remain, however, prior research efforts have provided valuable insights into factors influencing the outcomes of restoration and there are now several examples of successful large-scale restoration programs. A variety of tools and techniques have recently been developed that will improve the efficiency, cost effectiveness, and scalability of restoration programs. This review describes several restoration successes in Australia and New Zealand, with a focus on emerging techniques for restoration, key considerations for future programs, and highlights the benefits of increased collaboration, Traditional Owner (First Nation) and stakeholder engagement. Combined, these lessons and emerging approaches show that seagrass restoration is possible, and efforts should be directed at upscaling seagrass restoration into the future. This is critical for the future conservation of this important ecosystem and the ecological and coastal communities they support.

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