Local Seagrass Expert Named Director Of Global Protection Program

Agnes Mittermayr, Ph. D. conducts research on seagrass in Cape Cod Bay. Photo by Sara Boswell

PROVINCETOWN – The Center for Coastal Studies has announced that its seagrass expert, Agnes Mittermayr, Ph.D., has been chosen to lead the global ecological program SeagrassNet in its efforts to restore and protect seagrass beds.

A hotspot for biodiversity dubbed “the forgotten ecosystem” by the UN Environmental Program, seagrass beds play an outsized role in carbon sequestration, accounting for 10 percent of the ocean’s carbon storage despite covering only 0.2 percent of the ocean floor, all while providing a nursing ground for local fauna.

As the new director of the ecological database, which contains extensive collections of seagrass samples and observations from 33 countries, Mittermayr aims to streamline the database’s user interface, expand public outreach, and reinvigorate the international community of seagrass researchers that contribute to the project after a lapse during the COVID pandemic.

“Seagrass is an important ally in the fight against climate change, and here on Cape Cod, seagrass plays an important role in slowing erosion,” said Mittermayr. “The more we know about seagrasses the better we can restore and protect this vital ecosystem.”

Mittermayr replaces retiring director Dr. Frederick Short of the University of New Hampshire’s College of Life Sciences and Agriculture.



About Matthew Tomlinson

Matt Tomlinson is a Cape Cod native studying to be a documentarian. He has been with the CapeCod.com NewsCenter since 2021.

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