Seagrasses grow under water. These flowering plants are found in extensive beds at shallow depths up to 30 feet so that the sun can still reach them for photosynthesis. Seagrasses help stabilize the sandy bottom, improve water clarity, provide food for creatures like the manatee, sea urchins and sea turtles, and also provide a place for small fish, shrimp, and crabs to hide.
They are a valuable part of the ecosystem as they provide nursey grounds for a variety of species. Seagrasses can improve water quality in high nutrient areas by absorbing nutrients in runoff from the land. In nutrient poor regions, they increase nutrient cycling by taking up nutrients from the soil and releasing them into the water through their leaves. They also stabilize the sediments and protect shorelines.