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Pod design to regenerate seagrass

A unique experiment to help restore seagrass in marine regeneration projects has reached a crucial stage in trials within Falmouth Harbour, UK.

Bournemouth University Alex Croasdell (left) and Vicki Spooner, Falmouth Harbour environmental manager (right).

Bournemouth University Alex Croasdell (left) and Vicki Spooner, Falmouth Harbour environmental manager (right).

The hot-housing Seavive Pod, designed and now modified by Bournemouth University student Alex Croasdell (above left), has been found to successfully rot down seagrass seedpods to nurture the release of seeds so that they can be used to replenish seagrass beds, potentially around the world.
Croasdell’s latest Seavive design, 3D printed by Niall Jones using recycled plastic, is now suspended below Falmouth Haven pontoons for ease of access, and contains seagrass seed pods harvested from the Flushing seagrass bed – with necessary permissions gained by Falmouth Harbour for Natural England.
Seavive has been backed by a partnership that includes Falmouth Harbour, Falmouth-based GAC UK and marine restoration charity Our Only World and Croasdell thanks everyone who has helped fund and develop the project. “I hope these pods can help preserve and bring back our lost seagrass meadows, which are so vital for our ecosystem and coastlines,” he says.
The prototype pod will be retrieved from the Falmouth Haven pontoon this month (November) and the released seeds used as part of an educational session within the wider Cornwall Flood Forum. The plan is for school pupils to take the released seeds, mix them with sand, and place them in hessian bags. The next day, volunteer divers and snorkelers will plant the bags within scour patches left by moorings removed by Falmouth Harbour in 2021.
The seeds will be monitored for signs of germination in spring 2023 with hopes that this activity will help to speed up the regeneration of the patches.
Vicki Spooner, Falmouth Harbour environmental manager (top right), adds her thanks for the funding and hopes the Seavive Pod will ultimately be used worldwide for small-scale seagrass regeneration projects.
“This is a super project to be involved in and it’s great to be able to help Alex take his design to the next stage,” she says. “Using recycled plastics to create the prototype is something we are hoping to explore further as part of our plans to reduce waste and contribute to the circular economy so it was great to work with Niall to understand more on how this can be achieved.”
www.falmouthharbour.co.uk

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