Is the (sea)grass really greener on the other side?

Living seagrass meadows of Terumbu Semakau - photo courtesy of Wild Singapore

Marine biologist Siti M. Yaacub gave a talk about sea grasses at the National Geographic Store at VivoCity, Singapore, on 10th December 2011. I was completely taken aback both by the current vibrancy of seagrass life along some of the coasts of Singapore and also the massive decline in the number and size of areas with seagrass existence.

“Seagrasses are the only flowering plants adapted to grow submerged in the sea. Seagrasses generally grow in intertidal areas to depths of 30m”. Siti gave an animated and enlightening narrative about the current state of seagrass population in Singapore. Singapore has a variety of seagrass along our coasts. The Tape seagrass (Enhalus acoroides),  Smooth ribbon seagrass (Cymodocea rotundata), Serrated ribbon seagrass (Cymodocea serrulata) , Needle seagrass (Halodule sp.) , Sickle seagrass (Thalassia hemprichii),  Noodle seagrass (Syringodium isoetifolium),  Spoon seagrasses.,  Fern seagrass (Halophila spinulosa) ,  Beccarri’s seagrass (Halophila beccarrii) ,  Hairy spoon seagrass (Halophila decipiens) are some of the species

The seagrass meadows in Singapore is now limited to few sites on Pulau Semakau, Cyrene Reef, Tuas, Sentosa, Labrador and Chek Jawa.  The reduction in coastal and marine ecosystems in the coasts surrounding Singapore is due to the ongoing development and reclamation along the Singapore coasts which has transformed most of Singapore’s coastline.

One of the key things I learnt during the talk is how we, as normal individuals, can and should, learn more about the coastal diversity on our local coastlines. Team Seagrass facilitates this via conducting regular trips to the various seagrass sites to gather data about the length and intensity of the seagrass meadows around Singapore.

More information about Team Seagrass and their activities can be found on their Facebook page and their blog.

This article was written by guest blogger, Ibrahim Iqbal – an Environmental Management Student in the National University of Singapore who is passionate about the Environment, Technology, the creation of sustainable change-making development solutions using technology as a positive multiplier and exploring the planet.



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  1. Thank you for the great write up of Siti’s talk and for sharing about TeamSeagrass!

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