We are not very common on the reef. There are usually not enough nutrients or space for us to grow. But we do grow well in soft muddy or sandy areas near a reef. Many animals depend on us for food and shelter. We provide a home for many small animals, and hiding places for many young animals trying to escape from predators!
We may look like seaweed, but we seagrasses are soooo different from seaweed! For instance, we have flowers, fruits, and seeds just like roses and other flowers that live on land. Seaweeds don't have these things. We also have a root system that connects us together and keeps us anchored to the sea floor.
You know that all plants are, like, the coolest, right? We don't have to eat because we can make our own food! No other organism on the reef can do that except for us! We make our food through a process called photosynthesis. During photosynthesis we take carbon dioxide and energy from the sun and convert that into sugar and oxygen. Photosynthesis takes place in organ-like parts in our cells called chloroplasts. Because we make our own food, we are producers.
Humans are our biggest threat! When people start building on the coast, they dump pollution and sediment (like sand) in the water. The pollutants can poison me, and the sediment can cover me up. This blocks out my sunlight and kills me.