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What is Seagrass?

What is Seagrass?

Seagrass is found in shallow, dark waters in many parts of the world. Most people assume it's seaweed or grass because of its surface similarities, but in fact, is quite different. Fashion conscious people buy woven seagrass totes, designer handbags, or rattan bags in Thailand and love the quality and naturalness but might not understand where the seagrass is found in nature. Others still, want to know how to grow seagrass at home but have no idea what it really is or the importance of this plant in many ecosystems. 

What is seagrass?

Seagrass or Angiosperms is a flowering plant that has adapted over time. It was once a land plant that changed and moved to the ocean. Like other flowering plants, the flowers bloom during certain times of the year and are connected to the seasons. Seagrass doesn't receive its nutrients through the soil but instead converts energy through photosynthesis.

Where are seagrasses found?

Seagrasses belong to almost every coastal habitat in the world except for Antarctica. Since they rely on photosynthesis, seagrasses thrive in shallow salty waters, where light can reach them. Most coastlines have only one to two seagrass species, but the coastal waters of India and Thailand may have more than 14 species living together. In Thailand, seagrass is found in abundance and once thought of as only crucial for sea life, now used to make clutch bags, beach bags, and more.

What is the difference between seagrass and seaweed?

Superficially seagrass habitats look similar to seaweed or algae. Both are green with long leaves, yet are different organisms. Seagrass characteristics include a more complex system of roots, leaves, and blades. While seaweed has blades and holdfasts at the bottom. 

Seagrass species takes the sun's rays and converts the energy into food using photosynthesis. Like other flowering plants, they can transfer nutrients through the root systems. Seaweed, on the other hand, is a much simpler species. They have no flowers, roots or veins to transport nutrients, but rather hold on to the sea floor.

What is the importance of seagrass?

Seagrasses, nicknamed the "lungs of the sea," generates tons of oxygen through photosynthesis. They create unique habitats that work together with mangroves and coral reefs. Considered a foundation plant species, providing critical ecological functions and multiple services for humans. Seagrass habitats have a hidden underwater layer that provides shelter for small invertebrates (crabs and fish), small fish, and juvenile fish from predators. As a result, larger animals like turtles, sharks, and large fish make seagrass their home to feast on the abundant life.

Sea life isn’t the only one who benefits from seagrass. For the past 10,000 years, humans use seagrass adaptations to fertilize fields, insulate houses, provide shelter, and weave baskets and handbags. Seagrass estuaries support biodiversity, commercial fisheries, clean the surrounding water, and help remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. 

Seagrass in Thailand, seagrass totes, what is seagrass, seagrass bags, where can you find seagrass

Dead seagrass nurtures the coastal shores and humans. Seagrass is one of the most valuable ecosystems in the world (only preceded by estuaries and wetlands). Due to these benefits, seagrass’s importance cannot be underestimated.

How to grow seagrass?

Even though seagrass is naturally found throughout the world, the amount of seagrass is decreasing. Why seagrass is dying is directly related to climate change. Seagrass beds need healthy soil to thrive, and toxic soil from pollution are causing seagrass to die. 

You can grow seagrass at home in a tank, but the best way to protect seagrass is to support organizations charged with protecting this valuable resource. Also, investing in products that use the dead seagrass responsibly helps make sure that its value is never lost.

Sea & Grass supports sustainable fashion through responsibly producing handbags, totes, and beach bags that give back to communities.

Amber Roshay is a freelance marketing writer who specializes in health and beauty. She's been featured on Business Insider, Motherly, The Write Life, and more. When she's not writing content, she's enjoying the beach with her family in San Diego. 


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