Underwater background. Sea grass zostera. shutterstock

'Blue carbon' is carbon that has been sequestered by natural marine processes. Seagrass is recognised by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for inclusion in national greenhouse gasses (GHGs) inventories as a store for carbon. 

Restoration potential and increasing these carbon ‘stores’ is high. This contributes to national GHG targets, enables multiple ecosystem service benefits and primes private sector investment. Empirical knowledge dominates and missing from this nexus is the connection with communities within which these Net Zero projects take place. 

Plymouth provides the perfect living laboratory to generate ‘creative climate connections’ based on the disconnect between Plymouth geographically situated as an Ocean city (including coastal communities experiencing significant deprivation, and climate linked storm events) and a recently designated National Marine Park where Blue Carbon projects are active. 

We seek to connect city residents though an immersive living arts piece, focussing on Seagrass, based at the National Marine Aquarium (NMA), with accessible and highly visible satellite installations around the City. Designed to inform and inspire place-based pride in seagrass, the piece will provide an entry point for a challenging and novel dialogue about climate change, pro-environmental behaviour, climate justice and equitable carbon investment.

We are thrilled to have this opportunity to work with an artist in residence to mainstream the essential role that marine ecosystems have in the carbon cycle. In the current climate emergency, there is no time to waste in the protection and restoration of marine ecosystems. It is also a great way to engage the wider Plymouth community with the outstanding marine research and initiatives taking place in the city.

Sian ReesSian Rees
Associate Head of School - Research

I am so excited to be taking up the role of Blue Carbon Artist in Residence. To have the opportunity to work with so many amazing people and such respected organisations is a dream. Seagrass is an essential part of the marine ecosystem and the fight against the climate crisis, I can’t wait to get started in creating an arts piece that will hopefully do it justice.

Rosie Sherwood, Blue Carbon Artist in Residence

All of our work at the Ocean Conservation Trust is centred around people and helping them find their connection to the Ocean. The National Marine Aquarium is vital to our work, as it is an awe-inspiring place where our visitors are able to experience a wide variety of local undersea habitats. We have found that people are really interested in seagrass and are keen to understand how the ecosystem works. We are really excited that Rosie will use her creativity to support this understanding, as we find that artistic techniques are often key to interpreting scientific concepts and help build emotional connections to plants and animals that are often out of site and out of mind.

Nicola Bridge, Head of Ocean Advocacy and Engagement at the Ocean Conservation Trust

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