Seagrass ecosystems are among the most productive and valuable benthic habitats found in the in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico region. They support a diverse array of ecological and habitat functions, as well as various human activities along the Gulf Coast. Maintaining and improving the health of seagrass ecosystems and all coastal and marine ecosystems are essential for ensuring the ecological and economic health of the Gulf of Mexico region.
Seagrass-Watch Global Seagrass Observing Network (established in 1998) partners scientists with citizens to accurately monitor the status and trends in seagrass condition. The network has conducted over 5700 assessments at 418 sites across 26 countries, involving thousands of dedicated participants.
Source: Project Seagrass
Gulf-wide assessment of habitat use and habitat-specific production estimates of nekton in turtlegrass (Thalassia testudinum)
Seagrass beds are habitat for many commercially and recreationally important finfish and shellfish during some stage of their life. In the northern Gulf of Mexico, turtlegrass, a type of seagrass, is a critical foundation species that provides energy for food webs and shelter and foraging grounds for many species. This management-driven project investigated the use of turtlegrass as habitat by finfish and shellfish at six sites across the Gulf of Mexico and evaluated the support provided to blue crabs (Callinectes sapidus), a commercially and recreationally fished species that has seen declines in harvest in many Gulf states.