I donned my wet weather gear and took on the elements on a characteristic Scottish spring day, in search of seagrass along Pettycur Bay.
Tuesday marked the end of my first week here in Kinghorn and it was about time I found the elusive seagrass patches on my new doorstep. Hidden high up on the shore between Burntisland and Kinghorn is where I found the enigmatic species though not in the abundance that I was expecting.
The sparse patches of seagrass left me conflicted, I was jubilant for finding seagrass but I was also left slightly dismayed due to the scarcity of the seagrass patches. This unassuming species is a keystone species within the coastal zone, providing habitat for a range of species and delivering numerous ecosystem services, which range from carbon storage, water purification, sediment capture and stabilisation, and disease control.
There is plenty of encouragement to take from this first encounter, the presence of seagrass is a great starting point as this is a positive sign indicating that the environmental conditions are suited to support the growth of seagrass.
I will be heading out very soon to explore more of Fife's coast to determine the spatial distribution of seagrass, in order to scope out potential survey sites for the Restoration Forth Project.
If you have read this far, you can help me in my search, all you will need is a smartphone and a pair of wellies. If you download Seagrass spotter on your smartphone, which is accessible from the app store, you'll be able to start geolocating seagrass patches along your stretch of the coast. The app allows those seagrass enthusiasts out there to upload photographs of seagrass sightings to a burgeoning database, which is aiding our understanding of the spatial extent of seagrass around Scotland. So here is your excuse to get out of the house, explore your local beach and contribute to an important citizen science project. I hope to see you all soon.
If you wish to get in contact with me, please shoot me an email.