Not to be confused with seaweed! Seagrass is a group of flowering plants that grow in shallow coastal waters. They are the only flowering plants than can survive underwater! Known as, the “lungs of our seas”, one square meter of seagrass can generate 10 liters of oxygen every day through photosynthesis. In the UAE, we have three species of sea grass. The most common species locally is Halodule univervis.
These plants have many benefits, they help clean our air of the harmful build-up of the greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, and populations of endangered species, such as turtles and dugongs, depend on seagrass for their food supply. Seagrass also plays an important role in blue carbon – being one of the most productive ecosystem in absorbing carbon from our atmosphere (carbon sink). They also support commercial fisheries and help keep the water clean.
Did you know? An adult dugong eats 40 kg of sea grass per day!