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How to save Formentera’s iconic ocean meadow

Alice Pritchard

3 August 2017

Formentera in the Balearics is out to save the Posidonia, a local marine plant that’s vital to the island’s ecosystem. It protects the island and helps filter the surrounding seas but overdevelopment has threatened it - the island’s population want to give it a helping hand.

The Med loving plant makes up most of the World Heritage Site, the ‘meadow of the Natural Park of Ses Salines d'Eivissa and Formentera’. It protects the beaches from erosion and provides a welcoming habitat for over 1,000 marine animals and 400 other types of oceanic plant. This enormous living organism is 100,000 years old and helps keep the waters off Formentera crystal clear. It acts like a huge green buffer but climate change, over-fishing and marine pollution are threatening its survival.

Rather than sitting back and watching this ancient ocean meadow die off, the island has launched several projects to help save it. You can now sponsor a square metre of Posidonia for €1 (there are over 76 million sq metres of it) and a research team are mapping and photographing the meadow to work out how much has been lost in the last five years to see where the island can prevent boats wrecking what is left.

In October there will also be the Save Posidonia Festival(12-15 Oct) which will raise awareness of the island’s sustainable tourism project and visitors will be able to try activities like circumnavigating the island on SUP boards or trying yoga on the craggy coastline. Tourists can also visit Posidonia Boulevard, where local brands who rely on the ocean or Posidonia to make products will be setting up shop. There will also be workshops, surfing, music and more. 

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