The Nature Conservancy is Putting Science into Action around the Globe
Rob Brumbaugh, Senior Scientist at The Nature Conservancy
(Washington, DC, Monday, June 2, 2014) – The Nature Conservancy is celebrating science in action with the second annual Restoration Week June 2nd – June 6th. The Conservancy is highlighting the benefits of restoring marine habitat to coastal communities including fish production, storm and flood risk reduction and economic benefits of recreation. Oyster reefs, seagrass meadows, coral reefs and other natural habitat help prevent erosion, reduce the risk to coastal communities during storms, produce fish and support local economies through recreation and tourism.
The Conservancy has been putting science into action in the water at over 160 restoration sites around the globe, 148 of them conducted in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in U.S. waters.
Examples of Science in Action:
Oysters – in Texas, we are working with partners to restore 45 acres of Half Moon Reef in Matagorda Bay. A healthy one-acre oyster reef can filter 24 million gallons of water each day and support the local fishing economy by producing crab, shrimp and many types of fish.
Coral Reefs – healthy coral reefs can serve as an effective first line of defense to incoming waves, storms and rising seas – reducing wave energy by 97%. Conservancy scientists contributed to this new research published in Nature Communications, and are contributing in the water by leading an innovate project fighting invasive algae in Kane’ohe Bay in Hawaii.
Mangroves – In 2004 a brand new preschool opened on Union Island in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the same year category three hurricane Ivan slammed the island. The school was protected in large part by a dense stand of mangroves. Together with partners, we are developing a management plan for Grenville, a coastal community in Grenada including natural defenses to storm surge like mangroves that will support livelihoods and provide fish habitat.
Seagrass – scientists recently found in some bays, a healthy acre of seagrass has the potential to produce up to $80,000 of commercially important fish annually. On the coast of Virginia, The Nature Conservancy and partners are restoring seagrass meadows as part of the world’s largest seagrass restoration project.