Have you ever pictured a grass field under the sea? It may sound strange at first, but there is so much more than sand on the sea floor! Posidonia oceanica is a marine plant that is endemic of the Mediterranean Sea and a crucial ecosystem for many of its marine species. It occupies between 3% to 5 % of the Mediterranean surface and its protection is key for many reasons, preserving the quality of our beaches being one of them. Unlike algae, Posidonia oceanica (commonly known as Neptune Grass or Mediterranean tape weed) has roots, stem and leaves, and it flowers in autumn and produces floating fruits commonly known as “olive seas”. The Neptune Grass is a bioindicator of the good quality of our coastline because it is home to plenty of organisms. It also plays a key role at protecting it from erosion. So if you happen to be snorkelling and you spot a field of Neptune grass, you'll be happy to know that you are in the presence of a preserved habitat that is full of life.
Climate change and human activities are damaging this species and endangering its conservation. If you want to know more about the threats and conservations measures that are been taken to preserve it, you can take a look at the IUCN Red List. And while summer is still around, come visit some of the wonderful Mediterranean destinations in Europe that thrive with its presence, like Catalonia, Liguria or Istria. It’s a Mediterranean treat!