by Robert Barossi
Ok, I admit it. At first, that doesn’t sound all that exciting, watching grass grow. But, in fact, it’s not only exciting in an environmental and ecological context, it’s also essential work. The grass in this case is Saltmarsh Cordgrass (or Spartina alterniflora), an extremely important part of the ecosystem in marshes along the Florida coast. As the article states, “The grass is the foundation for a whole web of marsh life that brings both work and play to the region.” Also mentioned in the article is that volunteers will be helping to do some of the work involved in important studies, including pulling out individual grass plants and replanting them in areas where they can do the most good. This kind of work is becoming more and more important as sea levels rise, which will cause as-yet-unknown impacts to coasts and coastal marshes. Volunteers will no doubt be out there helping to implement the solutions to those impacts or perhaps helping to prevent them before they happen.
The Saltmarsh Cordgrass project is under the auspices of the Northeast Florida Aquatic Preserves and the study is primarily taking place in the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve.