Bailiwick Eelgrass Exploration Project


Why are we interested in eelgrass?

Eelgrass is an incredibly important habitat forming species, found within the shallows of our seas. It supports a variety of marine life, including seahorses and juvenile fish. Eelgrass beds can reduce coastal erosion and seen as a mitigation measure for climate change, through storing organic carbon.

Anecdotally, Eelgrass beds are thought to occur throughout the Bailiwick, however, key information on their location, size and what marine species they support is very limited.

The Bailiwick Eelgrass Exploration Project (BEEP) aims to increase knowledge on the presence, location and composition of Eelgrass beds across the Bailiwick, through citizen science. The project is supported by several environmental bodies across the Bailiwick and comprises of two objectives:

  1. To record the presence, distribution, extent and composition of Eelgrass around the Bailiwick.
  2. To promote awareness of this important habitat forming species within the Bailiwick to relevant stakeholders, appropriate bodies and the public.
Eelgrass Zostera marina at Belgrave Bay © Liz Sweet

Get involved!

If you are interested in becoming a BEEP citizen scientist and help us record Eelgrass across the Bailiwick, please contact Dr Mel Broadhurst-Allen, for further details and training opportunities.

  • Email:

Eelgrass Recording Form

Seasearch form for eelgrass mapping.

What's the difference between seagrass and eelgrass?

Seagrasses are species of flowering plant that have adapted to live in the ocean. They produce pollen, flowers and seeds.

All eelgrass species are seagrass, but not all seagrass is eelgrass. Eelgrass refers to 15 species of seagrass in the Zostera genus. We have 2 species of Zostera in the Bailiwick

  1. Zostera marina – Common eelgrass
  2. Zostera noltei – Dwarf eelgrass