A conservationist will speak about the importance of seagrass beds at an event later this week.

Sarah Manuel, the Government’s senior marine conservation officer, will also discuss green turtles, as part of an eco lunch and learn series.

Sponsored by the Bermuda College and the Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Taskforce, the series examines possible solutions to local and global environmental issues.

Starting her career in Bermuda with the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Dr Manuel holds a PhD from the University of Liverpool and has more than 30 years experience researching and working with Bermuda’s marine environment, with a focus on seagrass beds.

According to Amy Harvey, earth and environmental science lecturer at the Bermuda College, humans have damaged seagrass habitats.

She said: “Direct activities include impacts from boating such as poorly placed anchors, sedimentation from dredging and pollution load from run-off.

“Indirect human impacts are linked to the burning of fossil fuels which are contributing excess carbon dioxide to the environment, which ultimately heats up the atmosphere and oceans.”

Jennifer Flood, executive officer for BEST, also highlighted the significance of seagrass to the marine environment.

“A small sampling of their importance includes acting as a nursery area for juvenile fish and crustaceans, food for turtles and other marine animals; help in preventing coastal erosion and maintaining water quality.

Read more here: https://www.royalgazette.com/environment/news/article/20230328/event-to-focus-on-importance-of-seagrass-beds/