Waterkeeper Has Eyes on The Seagrass

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Calusa Waterkeeper has announced the start of the “Eyes on Seagrass” pilot program in Lee County, a program developed and managed by Florida Sea Grant in partnership with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Scientists. The program will monitor and protect seagrass habitats along the coast that are under threat.

Seagrass beds are crucial ecosystems that support a diverse array of marine life, stabilize coastal sediments, and play a significant role in carbon sequestration. However, these invaluable habitats face numerous threats, including pollution, boat propeller damage, and climate change.

The “Eyes on Seagrass” program will empowers community members to become stewards of their local environment by engaging in seagrass monitoring activities. Volunteers will collect data on seagrass health, density, and distribution, providing scientists and policymakers with information for conservation and management efforts.

Calusa Waterkeeper has trained hundreds of citizen scientists in its Ranger Program over the years who are the boots on the ground or fins in the water helping the Waterkeeper protect and restore nearly 1,000 miles of waterway.

“We are excited to help launch the ‘Eyes on Seagrass’ pilot program in Lee County,” said Calusa Waterkeeper Captain Codty Pierce. “Seagrass ecosystems are critical for the health of our coastal waters, and by involving the community in monitoring efforts, we can work together to safeguard these important habitats for future generations.”

Participants in the program will receive training on seagrass identification and monitoring techniques, equipping them with the skills needed to contribute meaningfully to conservation efforts. By harnessing the collective power of citizen scientists, “Eyes on Seagrass” aims to enhance our understanding of seagrass dynamics and promote informed decision-making for coastal management.

The “Eyes on Seagrass” pilot program represents a significant step forward in coastal conservation efforts, demonstrating the potential for community-driven initiatives to make a tangible impact on environmental sustainability.

To get involved in the “Eyes on Seagrass” program call 239-899-1440 or email info@calusawaterkeeper.org or visit calusawaterkeeper.org.

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