Seagrass saves beaches and money

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Rebecca K James et al. Maintaining Tropical Beaches with Seagrass and Algae: A Promising Alternative to Engineering SolutionsBioScience, 2019; DOI: 10.1093/biosci/biy154

Seagrass beds are so effective in protecting tropical beaches from erosion, that they can reduce the need for regular, expensive beach nourishments that are used now. In a recent article in the journal BioScience, biologists and engineers from The Netherlands and Mexico describe experiments and field observations around the Caribbean Sea. “A foreshore with both healthy seagrass beds as well as calcifying algae, is a resilient and sustainable option in coastal defense,” says lead author Rebecca James, PhD-candidate at the University of Groningen and the Royal Dutch Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), The Netherlands. “Because of erosion, the economic value of Caribbean beaches literally drains into the sea….

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