Thursday, January 27, 2022

Play

The Indiana House passes a controversial bill barring schools from teaching about Critical Race Theory, and President Biden pledges to place a Black woman on the Supreme Court for the first time.

Play

Justice Stephen Breyer formally announces his retirement, the Dept. of Education will help students who fell behind during the pandemic, and Ariz. lawmakers consider a bill granting them control over elections.

Play

Free COVID tests by mail but some rural Americans need to go the extra mile; farmer storytellers join national campaign to battle corporate consolidation; specialty nurses want more authority; and rare bat gets credit for the mythic margarita.

Report: Vital Seagrass Restoration Needs Real Estate to Thrive

Play

Tuesday, June 29, 2021   

EVERETT, Wash. -- Eelgrass plays a vital role in marine habitats, but along the West Coast, it's disappearing at alarming rates.

A new study found to restore seagrasses, it's more important to think about 'where' rather than 'how.' The report, commissioned by The Pew Charitable Trusts, analyzed 51 eelgrass restoration projects, including 14 in Washington state.

Kathryn Beheshti, California SeaGrant State Fellow for the California Ocean Protection Council and co-author of the report, said there are multiple restoration methods, and she expected that to be the most significant factor.

"What we found was that actually, restoration method, while important, is not the most important factor in predicting whether a restoration project will succeed; and that it's much more dependent on the environmental conditions and the site-specific conditions of a particular project," Beheshti outlined.

Researchers found about 30% of the world's eelgrass has disappeared since the 1870s, including a troubling case in California's Morro Bay, which has seen a 90% decrease in the last 15 years.

Beheshti said major causes of eelgrass decline are development and runoff pollution.

Eelgrass is found near shore and is considered a foundation species for ecosystems; other species, from sea otters to halibut, use it as habitat.

Melissa Ward, a post-doctoral researcher at San Diego State University and the report's other co-author, studies eelgrass's ability to combat climate change.

She said there's promising research that the plant is good at storing carbon. It also removes carbon dioxide from seawater, which is increasing in the ocean as more greenhouse gases are pumped into the atmosphere.

"It's becoming more and more important to keep eelgrass in the water, because it can elevate the pH and make the water less acidic," Ward explained. "So, the refuge that seagrasses provide may become more critical as we move forward, but at the same time, they're also threatened by climate change."

Ward added restoration is crucial work, but conservation is as well.

"While we do need to restore to try to get close to historic levels of eelgrass coverage, we also need to make sure that we don't lose what we already have," Ward urged.

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


get more stories like this via email
Under a new proposal, California employees could use up to three days of paid sick leave to get and recover from a COVID vaccination. (Mangostar/Adobestock)

Social Issues

Parents' rights groups are praising a plan to extend paid sick leave for many California workers, which is now on a fast track to pass. Gov…


Social Issues

Changes to a student-loan program for public-service employees is transforming the lives of Montanans who had their debts forgiven. In October…

Health and Wellness

When the Pueblo Community Health Center opened its 14,000 square-foot facility in 2003, Pueblo's east side, home to mostly minority residents…


By 2035, there are projected to be more than 1.2 million older adults living in Minnesota (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Minnesota is building on efforts to meet the needs of its growing population of older adults, now becoming the 10th state to join AARP's network of …

Social Issues

The past year saw American workers reassessing their jobs. However, those shifts did not result in higher union membership at the national level…

Those calling for permanent universal free school meals say research has linked them to better academic outcomes. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

This summer, a key initiative to boost school meal access during the pandemic will expire. In North Dakota, those working at the community level say …

Environment

New research suggests Earth's Sixth Mass Extinction event, on par with the one that ended the age of dinosaurs, already is under way. Noah Greenwald…

Social Issues

As local municipalities consider ways to use an influx of funds from the American Rescue Plan, some communities see it as an opportunity to support …

 

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