As the volume of both tourists and residents in coastal South Carolina continues to increases the resulting pressure placed on our waterways has caused concern over the quality and quantity of water. Currently, there are more than 1150 of our lakes, rivers, and creeks listed as impaired by the state’s Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC). What happens upstream from where you live, will eventually impact your area. Likewise, what happens in your area will impact those living downstream, us! Salt Marsh ecosystems are one of the most productive ecosystems on the planet. The salt marsh provides numerous benefits to the environment from shoreline stabilization, to filtration of pollutants, to nursery grounds for numerous species. They also provide flood mitigation during storms/high tides, provide a resting place for migrating birds, productivity/nutrient cycling, aquifer recharging, assist with sediment control, increasing pollution control, and shoreline stabilization. It is imperative to raise awareness with our students and fellow citizens in our need to protect and restore our saltwater marshes. It is because of the importance of the salt marsh that the From Seeds to Shoreline: Engaging Students in Salt Marsh Restoration program was developed. Ocean Bay Middle School, specifically the 7th-grade science classes are participating in this program to educate our students and give them hands-on learning experience about the importance of protecting this valuable ecosystem for our future generations.
August –select a day at low tide to complete restoration in late April
September to October -Seeds from Spartina alterniflora need to be harvested from the marsh and stored in containers with water in refrigerator until January.
January/February - Remove seeds from refrigerator and set under grow lamps and plant when sprouts appear.
February Ongoing monitoring of plants
March Instructional focus is our wetland and invasive species that will affect the productivity of this ecosystem
April- Wetland Restoration at Oyster Landing, marsh sweep, transecting activity, and sein activity with reflections and data collection books
What students will teach others and how
From Seeds to Shoreline: Engaging Students in Salt Marsh Restoration program/project focuses on restoration of our salt marshes by growing Spartina alterniflora, educating the students on the importance of the salt marshes and by participating in the restoration.