TIDE collects data on both manatee grass (Syringodium filiforme) and turtle grass (Thalassia testudinum) in Port Honduras Marine Reserve (PHMR) by carrying out both diving and snorkelling surveys. Seagrasses are underwater plants that often grow in vast meadows. They are integral to ecosystems as they provide nurseries, shelter, and a food source for a variety of species such as fish, sea turtles, dugong, manatee, seahorses and crustaceans. Additionally, seagrasses filter waters of sediments, nutrients, and pollutants.
As seagrasses exist in coastal areas, they are highly threatened by numerous negative human impacts as well as global climate change. There has been a general decline in seagrass health across the Americas. Therefore, TIDE wants to monitor the health of seagrasses in PHMR to help protect them as far as possible.
We send our research results to SeagrassNet, an international seagrass community who compares the health of seagrass across the world. SeagrassNet increases scientific knowledge and public awareness of this threatened coastal resource by publiscally displaying the results of global seagrass health research projects. You can access information on seagrass in PHMR on www.seagrassnet.org. The graph below shows the annual seagrass cover found around East Snake Caye in PHMR.