Monitor and restore seagrass and install permanent eco-moorings in high-density areas across Kefalonia, Greece.
There are three phases to the project, which will take place over the next three years in four different bays off Kefalonia. First, Kosamare will scientifically monitor seagrass meadows in the north of Kefalonia through aerial photography and underwater surveys in order to select priority areas for permanent eco-moorings and restoration work. Divers will measure fish biodiversity and the overall health of Posidonia meadows. Eventually, permanent, eco-friendly moorings will help prevent future damage from boating, and Posidonia restoration will revive some of these critical habitats and blue carbon sinks.
The Posidonia Restoration project by Kosamare will address one of the most difficult and pressing challenges facing our oceans: climate change.
“The oceans are largely regarded as a fragile system,” Alex McCaster said. “And, while this is true, we should not overlook their strength and resilience.”
This belief in the enduring nature of our blue planet drives the restoration work that the organization does – especially through seagrass restoration. Seagrass meadows serve as critical habitats and foraging grounds for many marine species. They’re also an important blue carbon sink because they reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide and produce oxygen. Therefore, seagrass restoration is also important climate work.
“Posidonia oceanica [(commonly known as Neptune grass or Mediterranean tapeweed)] is one of the most important ecosystems in the Mediterranean,” a Kosamare representative said. “It is protected under the EU Birds and Habitats Directive but still faces major threats, including significant impacts from recreational boating.”
According to Kosamare, the in-depth surveys of seagrass meadows required to start the project were made possible through grant funding from PADI AWARE. “We have also been able to engage with students from Greece and all over Europe through our scientific diving program, engaging them in our work through a bespoke training program,” a representative said.
This is the real goal, Kosamare added. “The engagement of the local community in direct and meaningful protection and restoration of Posidonia meadows in the north of Kefalonia” would be a true measure of success for this program, the representative said. “It would demonstrate the ability of small organizations and communities to mobilize for change in the face of the climate crisis.”
Want to see more of Kosamare in Action?
You can follow along with Kosamare and the Posidonia Restoration project on their website, Instagram, Facebook or on https://www.padi.com/aware