Seagrass monitoring has been carried out on Pohnpei since 2001 by Mr. Ahser Edwards (COM-FSM). In 2007, as part of our expanding role in the protection of Pohnpei’s marine resources, CSP partnered with Mr.Edwards at the two existing seagrass sampling sites, Ipwal-Sokehs and Rohi-Kitti, and added a new site, the Marine Protected Area of Sapwitik Island. As part of this expansion CSP and partners added a sea grass monitoring project to the monitoring program in association with SeagrassNet. SeagrassNet is an expanding global monitoring program that investigates and documents the status of seagrass resources worldwide and the threats to this important and imperilled marine ecosystem. The program started in 2001 in the Western Pacific and now includes 60 sites in 20 countries; a global monitoring protocol and web-based data reporting system have been established. SeagrassNet’s ultimate aim is to preserve the valuable seagrass ecosystem by increasing scientific knowledge and public awareness of this threatened coastal resource.
SeagrassNet teams composed of scientists and managers from participating countries conduct synchronous quarterly sampling of selected plant and environmental parameters to determine seagrass habitat status and trends. A lack of information exists on the status and health of seagrasses worldwide, particularly in less economically developed regions. SeagrassNet’s efforts to monitor known seagrass areas and to investigate uncharted seagrasses are important first steps in understanding and sustaining the seagrass resource. From Brazil to the U.S. to Vietnam and many Western Pacific island nations, SeagrassNet is collecting information with the goal of elevating awareness of seagrasses and providing a “global report card” on the health of seagrass coastal habitat.