"To protect and restore the Florida coastal and Indian River Lagoon ecosystems
through education, research and community stewardship."

Salt Marsh Planting Continues

Nov 24th, 2014 | Category: Blogs, MDC News, Oyster Restoration News, Shoreline Restoration News

IMG_20141120_092351123Nearly a dozen volunteers took on chilly weather to help plant native marsh plants such as blanket flower, dune sunflower, fire bush, goldenrod, white indigo, necklace pod and paspalum as part of the Marine Discovery Center’s salt-marsh restoration project. Volunteers, along with staff members from the MDC and FWC, planted over 2,500 plants over the course of two mornings along the newly restored shoreline.

The 5.2 acre marsh is already attracting fish and waterfowl, and volunteers have planted a staggering 25,000 plants to date. All the plants are native species that are drought-tolerant and found in salt marsh ecosystems. Some of the plants will be harvested in the coming years to use for restoration projects in the area.IMG_20141120_101523494

The young plants were placed as part of the ‘Living Shoreline Demonstration Area’, where visitors can see examples of shoreline armoring techniques that off more ecological benefits than a seawall or bulkhead. The Living Shoreline area includes terraced planters, rip-rap with vegetation, oyster bags and mats, a retaining wall with vegetation, and more. Living Shorelines are ecologically valuable as habitat for coastal organisms, and also help protect against storms, wave activity, and sea level rise.

Along with the Living Shoreline Demonstration Area, the salt marsh restoration features a new amphitheater, an observation hill, educational signs, and a new kayak launch. The restored marsh, formerly the home of New Smyrna Beach High School, is a wonderful asset to the community and will encourage both residents and users to take care of our beautiful estuary.

IMG_20141121_113446062To see the salt marsh, fresh plantings, and Living Shoreline Demonstration Area, come to 520 Barracuda Blvd in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. Call 386-428-4828 for more information or to volunteer for other restoration events.