Restoring Marine Forests In Portugal


Capturing Carbon: Nature Knows Best

With our customers' help, we’re supporting the restoration of marine forests in Portugal. 

Scroll down to check out the video and images from this incredibly interesting project.


Forgotten forests that help tackle climate crisis

Globally marine forests along coastlines absorb 600 million tonnes of carbon a year!

Not only do these marine forests improve water quality, draw down and lock away carbon; they support all sorts of incredible fish species that inhabit coastal waters.

Why is it important to focus efforts here?

The coastal areas where sunlight penetrates are where these forests grow. It’s an undisputed fact that these seaweed forests are in sharp decline. Resulting in a loss of important natural services, including effective carbon capture, fish abundance and more. 

The need for urgent action in Portugal in particular is because there are kelp species here that are at risk of being lost forever. 

Native tree planting is important too. However, these marine forests can grow at an extraordinary rate, up to 2ft in a day, and have the ability to absorb huge amounts of carbon. 

It’s been said that they can lock-up carbon at a rate of up to 30 times faster than trees!

What Does The Project Look Like? 

Kelp forests are big seaweeds with long ribbons that grow along coastlines. They are among the most productive and richest wildlife places on Earth.


“When marine forests are lost it’s no easy task to bring them back because restoration methods usually involve diving, which quickly becomes complex, time-consuming and expensive. Or at least that was the case until the technique, called green gravel came along.”

- Tiago, Mossy Earth Biologist


The idea is simple:

  • In the lab, kelp is grown attached to small pieces of gravel under ideal conditions
  • The gravel is dropped from a boat and sinks to the ocean floor at a suitable location
  • The kelp individuals grow, reproduce and spread across the area


The first step for our team of talented biologists was to increase the production of green gravel and for that, the system in the lab allows them to increase the production of Kelp by 10 times! 

To get a sense of what this all looks like check out the lapse video below of Tiago and the team in the lab.

A timelapse video of the marine lab activities in March 2022

Below is a photo of one of the kelp individuals that is now thriving on the seafloor as a result of the work in this lab.

(Photo credit to João Nuno Franco, kelp researcher)

Article written by Rebecca Woolford, project lead and Tiago, biologist at Mossy Earth.

Thank you to all our customers who are continuing to make this work possible by choosing to book with us. 

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