We were excited to team up with the Marine Conservation Society on a project to protect seagrass, whilst continuing to allow safe boat mooring in Cawsand Bay.

Following the installation of an Advanced Mooring System in Cawsand Bay four years ago, we are delighted to report that there has been an amazing 212% increase in seagrass cover!

Traditional anchoring and mooring systems cause damage to delicate seagrass habitats, as the chain drags along the seabed disturbing and damaging the plants. These systems also use a heavy concrete sinker block to attach the mooring to the seabed, which leaves a large and damaging footprint.

The Advanced Mooring System allows boats to safely moor, whilst also protecting seagrass. It uses a series of mid-water floats to elevate the chain from the seabed, allowing seagrass to grow, undisturbed.

“We are delighted to see the positive effect the installation of the Advanced Mooring Systems has had to increase the presence of seagrass in Plymouth Sound, it’s a big win for this sensitive habitat. Protecting and restoring seagrass requires a holistic approach and by finding workable solutions like this, it allows communities to continue enjoying the ocean, whilst having a lesser impact on the environment, allowing both people and nature to peacefully coexist.”

Mark Parry, Head of Ocean Habitat Restoration, Ocean Conservation Trust

The initial project installed five Advanced Mooring Systems in Cawsand Bay in 2019, with a further 12 added in 2021. Cawsand Bay is one of the busiest areas of Plymouth Sound, particularly with tourism and small boat use. This applied conservation effort with the boating community has had significant positive impact on the seagrass meadows here, so we are very interested to expand this work to other sites.

“It’s incredibly rewarding to see the seagrass meadows reappear after the installation of the Advanced Mooring Systems, restoring a vital habitat for local biodiversity, carbon storage and coastal protection. You can’t get restoration without protection, and by working with the local boating community to protect the seabed, we have collectively given space for this rewilding to take place. Against the backdrop of the climate and nature emergency, the success of this simple system shows how pioneering projects can have a mitigating effect on the impacts of climate change, and reverse local biodiversity decline.”

Dr Jean Luc-Solandt, Marine Protected Areas Principal Scientist, Marine Conservation Society

This work wouldn’t have been possible without our partners, the Marine Conservation Society, funders Princess Yachts and the Recreational ReMEDIES Project.