Unique Falmouth Harbour Trials for the Seavive Seagrass Pod

A unique experiment to boost restoration efforts of the wonder-plant seagrass for use in marine regeneration projects has reached a crucial stage in its trials within Falmouth Harbour.
The hot-housing “Seavive Pod”, designed and now modified by Bournemouth University student Alex Croasdell, has been found to successfully rot down seagrass seedpods to nurture the release of seeds so that they can be used in projects to replenish and renew seagrass beds, potentially around the world.
Seagrass is vital for marine life which depends on its meadows for food and shelter and to the health of seas and the environment as it captures carbon more effectively than tropical rainforests.
Yet a study by University College London estimates at least 44 per cent of the UK’s seagrass has been lost since 1936 with pollution, mining and farming as well as dredging, bottom trawling, water quality, anchoring and coastal development all contributing to the decline.
Alex’s latest Seavive design, 3D printed by Niall Jones using recycled plastic, is now suspended below the Falmouth Haven pontoons for ease of access and contains seagrass seed pods harvested from the Flushing seagrass bed – with necessary permissions gained by Falmouth Harbour from Natural England.
Seavive has been backed by a partnership including Falmouth Harbour, Falmouth-based GAC UK and marine restoration charity Our Only World and Alex says, “I’d like to thank everyone who has helped fund and develop this project. I hope these pods can help preserve and bring back our lost seagrass meadows which are so vital for our ecosystem and coast lines.”
Our Only World is a Cornwall-based charity on a mission to help restore the oceans and Founder Tina Robinson says, “It’s fantastic to be involved in this project. Here at Our Only World, we are all passionate about seagrass regeneration and we wish the project great success – we will be following its progress closely.”
David Thorburn (UK Agency Operations Manager) from GAC UK adds, “We’re very excited to be part of this seagrass restoration project with Falmouth Harbour and Our Only World. We’ve recently opened our latest Ship Agency branch in Falmouth and feel it’s vital to give back to the local community. Our support of the seagrass restoration project reflects both GAC UK and GAC Group’s commitment to sustainability. Both strategies are built on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, one of which is Life Below Water.”
The prototype Seavive pod will be retrieved from the Falmouth Haven pontoon in November and the released seeds used as part of an educational session within the wider Cornwall Flood Forum taking place in November. The plan is for School pupils to take the released seeds, mix them with sand and place them in hessian bags. The next day they will hand these bags to volunteer divers and snorkellers at Flushing Beach who will plant them within scour patches left by moorings removed by Falmouth Harbour in 2021.
The seeds will be monitored for signs of germination in Spring 2023 with hopes high that this activity will help to speed up the regeneration of these scour patches. More information on our progress on this regeneration project is available here https://www.falmouthharbour.co.uk/environment/seagrass-regeneration/
The Seavive project is among several Falmouth Harbour partnership initiatives for regenerating seagrass meadows – with trials of its AMS eco-mooring systems well underway and new yellow buoys marking seagrass and maerl beds off Falmouth’s beaches and within the Harbour.
Vicki Spooner, Falmouth Harbour Environment Manager says, “This is a super project to be involved in and it’s great to be able to help Alex take his design to the next stage. We are very thankful to GAC UK and Our Only World in helping to fund this project. We hope the Seavive Pod can be used in many more small-scale Seagrass regeneration projects across the world to help restore this amazing plant and raise awareness of what Seagrass and similar marine habitats do for us and why they are so important.
“Using recycled plastics to create the prototype is something we are hoping to explore further as part of our plans to reduce waste and contribute to the circular economy so it was great to work with Niall to understand more on how this can be achieved.”

For detailed information on the work and services of Falmouth Harbour, including updates and FAQs on this and other environmental initiatives see Protect our Harbour – Falmouth Harbour, Cornwall or call the Falmouth Harbour team on 01326 213 537.

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