Bailiwick Eelgrass Exploration Project (BEEP)

Eelgrass - Dr Mel BA

Bailiwick Eelgrass Exploration Project (BEEP)


The Bailiwick Eelgrass Exploration Project (BEEP) is a citizen science project aimed to train volunteers help record Eelgrass across the Bailiwick of Guernsey. Formed in 2019, it is a collaborative project, founded by several environmental organisations and volunteers from:

BEEP Reports and Newsletters

What is Eelgrass?

Eelgrass (also known as Seagrass) is a terrestrial, flowering plant which has adapted to live in the marine environment. It looks like long, green blades of grass poking out of the sand. Across the Bailiwick of Guernsey, BEEP have recorded two different species of Eelgrass: Dwarf eelgrass (Nanozostera noltei) and Common Eelgrass (Zostera marina).

  • Dwarf Eelgrass

Thin blades (6 – 22 cm long) with blunt ends, often resembling green spaghetti. Found in clumps, beds or meadows on upper, sheltered shores.

  • Common Eelgrass

Long blades (20 cm – 2 m) with rounded ends and a sheath around stem. Found in clumps, beds or meadows on lower shore – shallow sublittoral zone (0 – 7 m deep).

    Why is it important?

    Eelgrass form dense meadows which provide an important habitat for a diversity of marine species including fish, crustaceans, molluscs and seaweeds. These meadows can act as nurseries for juvenile fish, breeding sites for cuttlefish and food for wildfowl species. Eelgrass meadows can also reduce coastal erosion and considered a nature-based solution to climate change, through locking organic carbon away within the sands below.

    BEEP has three core objectives:

    • To record the presence, location, extent and composition of Eelgrass across the Bailiwick.
    • To raise awareness and encourage engagement activities related to Eelgrass across the Bailiwick.
    • To identify human induced impacts (such as traditional boat moorings) upon Eelgrass across the Bailiwick
    BEEP Team and Volunteers

    How to help

    There are a variety of ways to help BEEP record Eelgrass across the Bailiwick:

    1.  If you are out on the beach (walking, snorkelling/swimming, kayaking or diving) and you spot some Eelgrass, please let us know. Every record is a valuable record! If you can, please tell us:
      • Date and time
      • Location of Eelgrass (e.g. name of the bay/ specific location within the bay)
      • Size of Eelgrass: is it a clump, bed or meadow
      • Anything you feel is important e.g., boat moorings nearby/ sea slugs present
      • Take a photograph
      • Submit your Eelgrass sighting to the Guernsey Biological Records Centre at:
    2. Join a BEEP public beach walkover or snorkel survey (keep your eyes peeled on social media for future events)
    3. If you are a Seasearch diver/snorkeller – keep on submitting your records to Seasearch!
    Eelgrass Bed (BEEP)

    Contact us

    For further details on BEEP and how to submit your Eelgrass sightings, see here:

    To keep up to date on BEEP activities please follow us on:

    For any BEEP inquiries and/or you would like to get involved, please contact

    BEEP Collaborator Logos