Ocean Health Index uses one of James underwater images.

Ocean Health Index uses one of James underwater images.

Ocean Health Index uses one of James underwater images.

Group of garibaldi fish swimming over sea grass beds.

PRESERVING HABITATS THAT ABSORB CARBON

This goal measures the extent and condition of the natural coastal ecosystems – seagrasses, tidal marshes and mangroves – that store large amounts of carbon in their roots, stems and leaves and sequester it for decades or centuries in the sediment.

When these habitats and sediments are preserved, air cannot reach the carbon they store. If they are disturbed or destroyed, air reaches the carbon and oxygen oxidizes it to carbon dioxide (CO₂), a heat-trapping gas that is the main source of climate warming.

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