Start receiving our award-winning magazine today!


Restoration Works

Saving the Prairies of the Sea

Seagrass for People and Nature 

Sometimes called “the prairies of the sea”, seagrasses are found throughout shallow bays and inlets around the globe. Helping improve water clarity, dampening wave action, preventing shoreline erosion and providing valuable nurseries and feeding grounds for fish and other marine life that support commercial and recreational fishermen.

But seagrass beds are dying at an alarming rate – reduced by as much as 90 percent in some bays across the Gulf of Mexico. Globally, scientists estimate that we may be losing a seagrass meadow the size of a soccer field every 30 minutes.


Restoring seagrass can yield big returns.

Scientists working with The Conservancy recently found that an acre of seagrass in some bays may produce as much as $8,000 in commercially important fish per year. Seagrass beds are most helpful to fish populations early in the life cycle when larvae are maturing into young (and vulnerable) fish. The authors analyzed more than 400 published studies for comparisons of juvenile fish populations in seagrass habitat and in nearby areas of bare seafloor. By understanding the contribution seagrass meadows can make to local economies, coastal planners and restoration experts can better weigh development and conservation investments.

To help restore and protect seagrasses around the world, the Conservancy continues to pioneer restoration techniques, from bird stakes to planting.  Over the past three years alone, 250 volunteers have contributed more than 1,200 hours collecting reproductive shoots containing ripe seeds from the underwater plants. The shoots were measured into water tanks, and the seeds were then cured, separated, and prepared for fall planting.  

The Future of Seagrass & Shellfish Restoration

We’re Accountable

The Nature Conservancy makes careful use of your support.

More Ratings

x animal

Sign up for Nature eNews!

Sign Up for Nature e-News

Get our e-newsletter filled with eco-tips and info on the places you care about most.

Thank you for joining our online community!

We’ll be in touch soon with more Nature Conservancy news, updates and exciting stories.

Please leave this field empty

We respect your privacy. The Nature Conservancy will not sell, rent or exchange your e-mail address. Read our full privacy policy for more information. By submitting this form, you agree to the terms of use.