Correos collaborates with SUBMON for the conservation of underwater forests
As part of the actions of its Linea Bosques, Correos has signed an agreement with SUBMON to collaborate in the conservation and protection of an area of underwater forest covering 10 hectares in the Albera conservation area, a protected space in Llançà.
Seagrass (Posidonia oceanica) is a plant that forms underwater forests and acts as such. It is the most important habitat in the sea in terms of the biodiversity it hosts, where more than 1,000 species of animals and 400 species of plants can be found. But perhaps one of the most unknown features of this marine plant is that every day it produces 14 to 20 liters of oxygen per square meter… more than the Amazon jungle! This is why seagrass plays a key role as a regulator of climate change, as it has the ability to fix CO₂ to the sea floor. Much of the CO₂ that we emit into the atmosphere ends up in the sea and is retained there by marine plants, such as seagrass. We talk about “blue carbon” when we refer to the role of marine forests in retaining excess CO₂.
Every 10 hectares of underwater forest in optimal conditions and without anthropogenic effects guarantees the capacity to retain 44 tons of CO2 per year and avoids the emission of 5000 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere. That means, for example, that every 20 m2 of seagrass meadows in good condition provides you with the air you breathe for a whole day.
Despite exercising this key function for both the planet and people, seagrass and other marine phanerogams are disappearing from our coasts. This is largely due to physical damage caused by human activities such as anchoring and trawling. These activities in many cases generate large amounts of waste, such as chains, anchors, concrete blocks, or any other heavy element used for anchoring boats; elements related to fishing such as nets or pots; remains of boats or urban furniture, which end up being abandoned on the seabed. It is considered that, on the Spanish coast, 50% of the seagrass meadows are in regression, and their surface area is reduced by between 5% and 8% each year, with the loss of biodiversity that this entails.
In this context, Correos joins SUBMON’s program to support the monitoring, control, and restoration of seagrass habitats until 31 December.