Seagrass Monitoring

The seagrass beds of St Maarten provide a biological filter system for the waters within the bays and lagoons. This should give the water its striking azure blue colour which is an essential feature to attract Tourists to the area, which in turn supports local businesses. The seagrasses also prevent terrestrial sediments from reaching the reef where they would smother and kill coral reef organisms.

The seagrass beds also provide a nursery and habitat for numerous commercially and recreationally valued marine animals such as Conch and juvenile fish. Internationally endangered species such as turtles also depend on the well being of the seagrass for their survival.

The Nature Foundation consistently monitors the local sea grasses which involves the deployment of 50 meter transact lines and the counting of species along those lines using quadrates. All species within the quadrates, including a point intercept segment for mobile and sessile organisms, will be included. Data is recorded on underwater data sheets.