Research projectSeagrass for
climate protection

Seagrass meadows are among the most productive marine habitats. They filter pollutants, pathogens and sediments from the water, fix carbon and offer a home for thousands of animal and algae species, all around the globe.



To date, efforts to reintroduce seagrasses in the southern Baltic have rarely succeeded. The goals of the joint project SeaStore are to understand why and to develop a comprehensive, scientifically sound restoration concept that takes into account key influences, both in the ocean and on land.


Project Goals and Mission
A master plan for new seagrass meadows in the Baltic

The joint project SeaStore’s primary goal is to provide comprehensive guidelines for the protection and reintroduction of seagrass meadows in the southern Baltic. These guidelines will help government authorities and other actors to assess, plan and successfully implement reintroduction projects. Accordingly, they will cover all aspects of seagrass restoration: from choosing the right locations and suitable seeds or seedlings; to instructions on how to plant them; to monitoring progress and addressing the question of how coastal communities, tourists and other interest groups need to be involved in the project in order to enhance its chances of success and public acceptance.

What’s new about this approach? Firstly, that all recommended restoration measures will have previously been thoroughly researched and tested in the course of the project. Secondly, the project partners are also investigating environmental factors that were previously overlooked, e.g. the diversity of the microorganisms on seagrasses and on the seafloor. Thirdly, the approach includes a growing aid, which is designed, as the name implies, to help newly planted grasses withstand the forces of currents and wave action, so that what start as a handful of seedlings can quickly grow into large, healthy seagrass meadows.

To date, efforts to reintroduce seagrasses in the southern Baltic have rarely succeeded. The goals of the joint project SeaStore are to understand why and to develop a comprehensive, scientifically sound restoration concept that takes into account key influences, both in the ocean and on land.

Credits: Dimitris Poursanidis / Ocean Image Bank
To date, efforts to reintroduce seagrasses in the southern Baltic have rarely succeeded. The goals of the joint project SeaStore are to understand why and to develop a comprehensive, scientifically sound restoration concept that takes into account key influences, both in the ocean and on land.

Credits: Dimitris Poursanidis / Ocean Image Bank
Credit: Thorsten Reusch / GEOMAR
Credit: Thorsten Reusch / GEOMAR
Credits: Marvin Lehmann / GEOMAR
Credits: Marvin Lehmann / GEOMAR

Research Focus AreasFrom the microbiome
to public support

Restoring seagrass meadows means providing a tremendously important service not just for the ocean, but for all humanity.
Yet the success of restoration efforts depends on a complex interplay of factors, all of which are being investigated in the joint project SeaStore.


CO₂ Reservoirs

Seagrasses remove the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from seawater and store the carbon underground – at a higher rate than any forest on land.



Biodiversity

Seagrasses offer a habitat for thousands of species and help ensure that millions of people around the globe have enough fish to eat .



Coastal Protection

Seagrasses offer effective coastal protection. They slow waves, hold together sand and sediments, and prevent erosion far beyond their own borders.



OutputPublications, Outreach and Media Coverage

The seagrass meadows of the Baltic will only be able to recover if we human beings work to protect them and implement scientifically sound restoration measures. Here you can read the latest outreach news,  Selected Media Coverage and find information on all related publications.




Research questionsThe research plan for
the joint project SeaStore

In the context of the joint project SeaStore, experts from six research institutes are seeking meaningful answers
to the five most important questions in seagrass restoration.



Under which conditions does seagrass grow best?


Which seagrasses are best suited for transplantation?


Which reintroduction method is most likely to succeed?


How quickly can new seagrass meadows provide ecosystem services?


Which socioeconomic aspects can contribute to the success of seagrass reintroduction projects?

At a GlanceFacts & figures

SeaStore is a joint multidisciplinary project bringing together experts from a diverse range of fields in pursuit of a common goal, namely, to devise feasible methods for reintroducing seagrass meadows in the southern Baltic.


3Years

Project timeframe: November 2020 to October 2023

~2million €

Funding provided by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research

6Institutes

participating across Germany

In the joint project SeaStore, researchers from the fields of economics, marine biology, oceanography, microbiology and plastics engineering are working hand in hand to preserve and restore the seagrass meadows.

Credit: Dimitris Poursanidis / Ocean Image Bank
In the joint project SeaStore, researchers from the fields of economics, marine biology, oceanography, microbiology and plastics engineering are working hand in hand to preserve and restore the seagrass meadows.

Credit: Dimitris Poursanidis / Ocean Image Bank

Researchers and Network Giving their all for seagrass

In the joint project SeaStore, researchers from the fields of economics, marine biology, oceanography, microbiology and plastics engineering are working hand in hand to preserve and restore the seagrass meadows. Here you can learn more about each researcher’s expertise, and which questions or tasks in connection with SeaStore they are most excited about.