Ocean Conservation Trust

Oceans make up 71% of the planet’s surface. And despite the harm they face because of climate change, they offer a solution too. Seagrass.

 

Who is the Ocean Conservation Trust?

Over 20 years ago, a dynamic group of marine scientists, researchers, educators, and divers came together to create a charity that would showcase some of the amazing habitats and animals found in a healthy and vibrant Ocean.

Since then, the OCT has delivered global Ocean conservation projects, connected millions of people with the Ocean, and worked to protect many different species of animals and habitats – making them a leader in people-focused conservation.

 

Seagrass in Plymouth Sound

Leading up to, during, and after COP26, carbon offsetting has been and continues to be a big talking point. The main way of offsetting carbon at present is through paying an organisation to plant trees.

As long as you get the right organisation, and they manage the future of the trees properly, it can be a great way of offsetting carbon that you’re responsible for. But on average, it takes 15 years for a tree to start absorbing carbon.

We considered it for a while and then decided not to go that way. We wanted to do something a bit different, but with the same principle in mind. We wanted to find a local initiative that we could support. One that not only had the potential for the same effect on carbon footprints, but that started absorbing carbon even quicker.

 

FACT

Seagrass meadows are more efficient at removing carbon from the environment than tropical rainforests.

 

Plymouth Based Charity

It just so happens that the Ocean Conservation Trust is based here in Plymouth, and they’re responsible for a fantastic seagrass project. In the 1930s, there were some 90,000 hectares of seagrass around the British coast. This is now down to around 8,000. Over the next few years, the OCT wants to restore seagrass to the 1930s levels, and we want to do what we can to help them.

Seagrass is incredible – it’s one of the most important ecosystems on the planet. It provides food and shelter for a massive range of sea life, and in coastal locations like Plymouth, its importance in the fight against climate change can’t be overstated.

 

Blue Carbon

You may have never heard the term “blue carbon” before. This is used to describe carbon that is trapped and stored in the ocean. Seagrass is known as a ‘natural sink’ – a part of the planet that naturally absorbs carbon dioxide.

 

FACT

Seagrass takes 35% more carbon out of the environment than a tree does. And it starts doing this as soon as it’s been planted.

 

Seagrass Project

Seagrass can absorb huge amounts of carbon from the atmosphere. Each square meter is capable of absorbing 83 grams of carbon per year. Together, the seagrass meadows around the world hold around 15% of the carbon stored in the ocean. This is particularly impressive as seagrass meadows only make up 0.1% of the total ocean floor.

Here at Nash & Co Solicitors, we’re making a significant investment in supporting the OCT’s seagrass project. It’s local, we’re Britain’s Ocean City, and the project forms a key part of the Plymouth Sound National Marine Park. We can even see it from our offices!

 

Planting the seagrass

Some of the team here at Nash & Co Solicitors are going to help make up the bags of seagrass. They’ll then dive to the seabed and plant the seagrass itself.

 

FACT

Seagrass starts removing carbon from the environment, the instant that it’s planted in the seabed. Trees take around 15 years to start absorbing carbon.

 

Offsetting Carbon

The ability to offset carbon through blue carbon credit schemes isn’t yet available. It’s anticipated that it’s going to take a couple of years to be launched. In the meantime, we’ll be doing whatever we can to help the OCT restore seagrass to pre 1930s levels.