Our planet’s seagrasses are diminishing rapidly, with some studies estimating that around 92% of those surrounding the UK have disappeared over the last couple of centuries or so.
Thankfully there are amazing organisations working hard to restore and protect them. The Ocean Conservation Trust is one of them, and we’re proud to say that we support the work they do with regular donations.
Quick sidebar: In 2021 we partnered with three climate charities: Ocean Conservation Trust, Rainforest Foundation UK (RFUK), and Cumbria Wildlife – for healthier oceans, healthier forests, and healthier bogs, to protect our planet and people. Since then, we’ve donated 1p (1.3c) for every ticket sold through our platform to these important (amazing, brilliant, wonderful 💚) causes.
Back to our planet’s seagrasses – what are they, and why do we need them? Turns out, they’re pretty wonderful ocean-dwelling meadows with a plethora of planet-friendly super powers.
Keep reading to learn more about the importance of seagrass, the work of the Ocean Conservation Trust, as well as our two-day volunteering trip to Plymouth 😎👇
The innate, healing power of seagrass – what’s it all about?
Not only are seagrasses one of the most biodiverse habitats on the planet (a single hectare can support 80,000 fish), they also store carbon on a huge scale (up to 35 times more efficiently than a rainforest of the same size) – making them a true warrior in the fight against climate change.
And that’s only scratching the seabed; these lush, watery meadows also support local economies (by keeping commercially important fish thriving), remove harmful nitrogen from the sea, and reduce the indirect effect of coastal erosion.
Ocean Conservation Trust – to the rescue!
The Ocean Conservation Trust is a charity dedicated to inspiring ocean advocacy, and doing ground-breaking work to protect and restore vital ocean habitats.
A team of marine biologists, educators, communicators, researchers, ecologists, oceanographers and divers, the trust works tirelessly to connect people to the ocean and influence pro-ocean behaviour.
Restoring our ocean’s seagrasses (via their amazing Blue Meadows Approach) is just one of projects the Ocean Conservation Trust is currently working on – and it’s the one that Ticket Tailor donations specifically go towards. (You can find out all about the Ocean Conservation Trust’s other projects here.)
Now, let’s hand over the mic to find out all about the great work these passionate, dedicated people are doing to protect our oceans, and to learn a bit more about Ticket Tailor’s involvement, too 🎤👇.
About the Ocean Conservation Trust
We’re a global Ocean conservation charity working towards our vision of a healthy Ocean. We exist to restore and protect the Ocean; our work is centred around people and positive action with a focus on pro-Ocean behaviour and habitat restoration.
Blue Meadows: Our biggest seagrass project yet…
Blue Meadows is our biggest and most ambitious seagrass project yet. It’s a holistic approach to seagrass protection, regeneration and restoration at scale. The goal is to protect the seagrass meadows we already have and over the longer term restore what has been lost.
Blue Meadows started because seagrasses are a vital part of the planet’s life support system, and there is a need to work together to restore the UK’s seagrass meadows to their former state so we can reap the benefits of their ability to support a sustainable planet. However, we are losing seagrass meadows at an alarming rate, and simply can’t restore them as quickly as they’re being lost.
So, a vital first step in our approach is our protection and regeneration programme. Part of the problem is that people don’t realise where seagrass beds are, so don’t know that damage is being caused. That’s why we’re identifying seagrass meadows, defining those areas for protection and marking them with Blue Meadows buoys to inform people it’s a sensitive habitat. This will allow the seagrass meadows to recover and regenerate.
While protecting and allowing existing seagrass meadows to regenerate, we’re also working on refining a holistic process to enable large scale seagrass restoration. To do this we have constructed a 400 square metre purpose-built facility for plant aquaculture; the largest seagrass nursery site in the UK!
On the Ticket Tailor x Ocean Conservation Trust partnership
We were delighted to be approached by Ticket Tailor as one of their chosen organisations to give back to. It was a no-brainer to partner with Ticket Tailor due to them having a similar ethos to us, and their commitment to grow sustainably.
Ticket Tailor donations will help us evolve and expand our Blue Meadows programme. We’ll be able to protect more seagrass meadows on the South West Coast through deploying Advanced Mooring Systems to allow boaters to anchor in an environmentally friendly way, and also through deploying marker buoys to highlight where these sensitive habitats are. Taking protective actions like this will enable seagrass meadows to regenerate into healthy meadows.
It was wonderful having the Ticket Tailor team visit and to meet everyone in person recently! We feel it was a great opportunity for them to learn more about how their support is helping us and to also learn more about the wider work that we do to protect our Ocean.
Tackling challenges head-on
We know that when people feel an emotional connection to nature, they’re more likely to protect and support its future, so a big challenge we have is to connect as many people as possible with the ocean. We want to encourage everyone to #thinkocean in their everyday lives. This means thinking about our impact on the ocean throughout the day and making choices with the ocean in mind.
The biggest threats to our Oceans
Our oceans are threatened by climate change. Rising temperatures are having a huge impact on our ocean, from ocean acidification causing coral bleaching and threatening the life of some ocean species, to sea levels rising.
Habitat destruction is also a huge threat, which impacts individual species as well as the health of the global ecosystem too. For example, when seagrass habitats are damaged or destroyed, they can no longer provide a sanctuary for some of the rare and endangered species that call it home, but they could also release the carbon that they have stored for many years.
Finally, plastic pollution continues to be a significant threat, plighting both the oceans themselves and the animals who call them home.
Our five and ten-year goals for the Blue Meadows project
Over the next 5 years our goals for the Blue Meadows project are to:
Protect 10% of UK seagrass meadows
Develop a holistic process to restore seagrass at scale
Use the Blue Meadows platform to engage and raise funding
And over the next 10 years, we aim to:
Protect 30% of Uk seagrass meadows
Restore 50 hectares of seagrass
Build capacity to store 50+ hectares per annum
A word from the Ticket Tailor team 👋
“Committed to fighting the climate crisis, we knew that removing carbon from the atmosphere was one of the most impactful ways we could make a difference. We spoke to many charities involved in combating the effects of the climate crisis on ocean habitats to understand where our support could make the biggest difference.
When we spoke to the Ocean Conservation Trust we were incredibly inspired by their groundbreaking work – not only were they raising awareness around the importance of seagrass in removing and storing carbon, but they were also doing the irreplaceable ground-level work of both replanting and protecting existing seagrass beds.
We knew that our donation could be a huge help to the important conservation work, and have been so happy to see the labs growing seagrass from seed to the launch of the Blue Meadows seagrass bed.” – Rhio Cory, Ticket Tailor Customer Experience Lead
A day in the life of…
…the Ticket Tailor team visiting the Ocean Conservation Trust in the beautiful port city of Plymouth! (Ok it was two days, technically.)
Day 1: The Ticket Tailor team meets the Ocean Conservation Trust (OCT) team and we’re taken on a two-hour snorkelling safari to explore the coastline and all the incredible local species we have on our shores – from Pollock to thong seaweed!
Hats off to the OCT guys – this really gave us an appreciation for the fragile ecosystem and biodiversity that exists in the oceans that are right on our doorstep.
That evening we enjoyed a team dinner, cocktails and a (competitive) game of Mölkky, eager for the next day.
Day 2 AM: We kick things off with a behind-the-scenes tour of the National Marine Aquarium, which is the largest Aquarium in the UK (and the deepest tank in Europe!). The aquarium is home to over 100 sharks and rays!
As well as getting to watch a rather animated behind-the-scenes feeding time, we were also educated on the OCT’s Blue Meadows seagrass project throughout our tour – including the important role it plays and how our donations are making much of this research possible 🙏.
Day 2 mid-morning: Following our visit to the National Marine Aquarium, the 12 of us set out on an hour-long beach clean, collecting 8.4kg of litter in total! This included 2.9kg of plastic waste – which was later processed by the OCT team who are dab hands at making sure beach litter is correctly recycled or disposed of. Through repeating this process regularly, the OCT are able to categorise beach litter to work out where it’s coming from – for example, tourists, businesses, or fishermen.
Day 2 lunchtime: Naturally, the big clean up was followed by a big lunch of fish and chips (all sustainably sourced, of course!) and an afternoon at the 1935 Art Deco natural Lido before the Ticket Tailor team headed off back to London.
A huge thanks to the Ocean Conservation Trust for having us!
We loved our visit and couldn’t be prouder to support the amazing work this team of inspiring, ocean-saving heroes do 💪. ‘Til next time! 🌊