So far we have studied Mangroves and plants, so I thought it a natural progression to introduce the very important underwater flowering meadows of Seagrasses.
We also live very close to an area that has seen nearly 80% loss of its seagrass population since the introduction of industry on the doorstep in the 1950's. Why?!
So I thought we should learn more about seagrasses, be aware of what threatens them and how we can reduce further destruction of this extremely important ecosystem.
First I read "The seagrass story" from here.
After revising mangroves, photosynthesis and flowering plants, I asked
"what is seagrass and how they are connected with mangroves and coral reefs?" (which we will look at next).
"What would you find in a seagrass meadow, what organisms and food webs?"
Then we looked at the role of the seagrass (environment and to us).
"Where are they found?"
"What threatens them?"
In summary we discussed why we need them and why seagrasses are such an important ecosystem.
The boys made drawings for the blackboard (J did the turtle...it was not easy for him, it took a great deal of time and frustration but he finished, a lesson in perseverance also) and listed in point form facts they recalled as important.
H and I then made a poster to make people aware that the baby fish need our help to save the seagrass.
There are some videos on utube also about seagrass meadows and dugongs.
I hope to find somewhere to go for a field trip to see some seagrass plants in their natural environment, but at this stage it doesn't look promissing, but am still searching.
The department of fisheries have some great fact sheets and links as do Western Fisheries as would most state or national government agencies.