Seacology works to protect all kinds of island habitats, from coral reefs to coastal wetlands to mountain forests (and more). But recently, more and more of our projects have concentrated on three island ecosystems: mangroves, peatlands, and seagrass.
Conserving these ecosystems has special importance as we face the global climate emergency. That’s because in addition to preserving habitat for endangered species, each one is especially powerful at keeping carbon dioxide, a key greenhouse gas, out of the earth’s atmosphere.
These resilient trees thrive where few plants can, in the brackish water along coastlines in tropical and semitropical areas all over the world. They are crucial habitat for fish and wildlife, protect communities from storms, and trap enormous amounts of carbon for many years.
These often-overlooked wetlands are a very valuable carbon trap. Because dead vegetation stays under water, it doesn’t decay and release carbon dioxide into the air. Peatlands all over the globe now hold more carbon than do all forests—but they are threatened by development.
Just under the surface of coastal shallows around the world, flowering plants called seagrass wave in the current. They form huge meadows—and an acre of seagrass can trap as much carbon as three acres of rainforest. As important fish habitat, they also support island economies.