From the 1930s until 1998, the bays of Virginia’s eastern coast were all but bare, emptied out by a hurricane and an eelgrass wasting disease. Today, they’re home to thousands of acres of eelgrass, which support a thriving ecosystem of fish, crustaceans, seabirds, and bay scallops. All it took was about three decades of sustained attention.
In a new review paper in Nature, a group of researchers suggests this success story can be scaled way, way up. If we get a lot of things right, “substantial recovery of the abundance, structure and function of marine life could be achieved by 2050,” the authors write, characterizing the effort as “a doable Grand Challenge for humanity.”
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