Speed Reads

It wasn't all bad

Largest-ever effort to save carbon-reducing seagrass underway in Wales

Because it is able to absorb carbon dioxide up to 35 times faster than tropical rainforests, seagrass has been dubbed the "wonder plant," able to help fight climate change.

"It is incredibly productive and just sucks carbon into the sediments, traps particles that are locked there for millennia," Dr. Richard Unsworth of Swansea University told BBC News. "That means that carbon dioxide is not in the atmosphere."

Seagrass, found in shallow waters, is a habitat for fish like cod and pollock and it helps protect areas from coastal erosion. As important as it is, seagrass has been disappearing at an alarming rate due to population growth around coastal areas; since 1990, it has declined globally at a rate of roughly 7 percent per year, and it's estimated that in the United Kingdom, up to 92 percent of seagrass has vanished over the last 100 years.

That's why Unsworth is undertaking Britain's largest effort to save seagrass. By November, one million seeds will be planted into a seabed off Pembrokeshire in Wales. This will create a new 215,280-square-foot meadow, which should attract young fish and "start to kick into action a recovery for our seas around the UK," Unsworth said.