skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Federal judge blocks AZ law that 'disenfranchised' Native voters; government shutdown could cost U.S. travel economy about $1 Billion per week; WA group brings 'Alternatives to Violence' to secondary students.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Senator Robert Menendez offers explanations on the money found in his home, non-partisan groups urge Congress to avert a government shutdown and a Nevada organization works to build Latino political engagement.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

An Indigenous project in South Dakota seeks to protect tribal data sovereignty, advocates in North Carolina are pushing back against attacks on public schools, and Arkansas wants the hungriest to have access to more fruits and veggies.

Underwater Seagrass: NC’s Best-Kept Secret for Protecting Shorelines

play audio
Play

Friday, June 14, 2019   

HAVELOCK, N.C. – At a summit this week on coastal resilience, some scientists point to underwater seagrasses as an important tool for protecting shorelines from hurricanes and other extreme weather events.

Underwater seagrasses may be difficult to spot, but the North Carolina coast is home to hundreds of thousands of acres of lush water-dwelling vegetation. Retired National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration marine scientist Jud Kenworthy says seagrass meadows have strong roots that hold sediment in place and help coastal systems withstand high winds and forceful waves.

"As an alternative, a natural alternative to shoreline protection, seagrasses are sort of the first line of defense before we get to the shore," says Kenworthy.

Last year, Gov. Roy Cooper issued an executive order calling for the state to take steps to prepare for increased flooding, extreme weather and rising sea levels in the face of a changing climate. Kenworthy says conserving seagrasses could be one of the most effective ways to keep North Carolina's shorelines intact.

Tancred Miller, manager of Coastal and Ocean Policy for the North Carolina's Department of Environmental Quality, says the state has been working on innovative ways to help coastal communities adapt to natural hazards and long-term shifts in shoreline ecosystems.

"We also with climate change have habitat transition,” says Miller. “So, things are going from forest to wetland, from wetland to open water. We have habitat changes, so we need to think about all these things – not just at the individual property level, but also at the community level, the county level and ultimately, the entire coast."

Next year, the state will update its Coastal Habitat Protection Plan, which includes seagrasses as one key habitat to conserve.

People living in coastal areas may not realize that seagrasses anchor a healthy ecosystem. Bill Crowell, the director of the state's Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Partnership, describes it as an indicator of healthy water and thriving marine life.

"So the thing that you can do to help keep it there is one, don't disturb it, don't run your boat props through it,” says Crowell. “But the number one thing I think people can do is make sure that the water quality off the land is good – reducing storm water, reducing pollutants coming into the water."

Seagrass meadows are found in nearly every coastal state, but have been disappearing for decades. Studies have found that farm run-off, sewage and other pollutants are harming them.

Crowell points out it can take months or years for seagrasses to recover from damage – and once they are gone, it's difficult to grow them back.

Support for this reporting was provided by The Pew Charitable Trusts.


get more stories like this via email

more stories
Peter Sussman is among three patients with disabilities who have asked to intervene in a lawsuit challenging California's End of Life Option Act. (Nancy Rubin)

Health and Wellness

play sound

California's medical aid-in-dying law is back in court. Three patients with disabilities and two doctors are asking to intervene in a lawsuit …


Environment

play sound

A new federal jobs program aims to mobilize tens of thousands of young Americans to address the growing threats of climate change. The American …

Social Issues

play sound

Little Priest Tribal College in Winnebago says its student body and campus are growing - and so are its options for people to study in STEM fields…


The Student Assistance Program in some Ohio schools connects students with tools in order to remove obstacles to learning, and is now incorporating mental-health resources. (Rosalie Murphy/Kent State NewsLab).

Health and Wellness

play sound

By Nathalia Teixeira for Kent State News Lab.Broadcast version by Nadia Ramlagan reporting for the Kent State-Ohio News Connection Collaboration…

Social Issues

play sound

Maine's new Office of Affordable Health Care holds its first public hearing this week, and people are being strongly encouraged to participate…

According to the Prison Policy Initiative, about one in five of the young people held in juvenile facilities is awaiting trial and has not been found guilty or delinquent. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

The number of children locked behind bars in Alabama has declined, but their advocates said more needs to be done to create alternatives to …

Social Issues

play sound

This coming Saturday, North Dakotans will get a chance to see how election workers go to great lengths to ensure a safe and secure voting process…

Environment

play sound

Scientists at Purdue University have been experimenting to create adhesives designed to be easier on the environment. So many products from …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021