Every Tuesday, now through August 30th, we are hosting Marine Meadows Coastal Plant Growing Workshops from 4:00-6:00 PM in two locations in Suffolk County. Workshops will be held in Yaphank at the Suffolk County Farm and Education Center, as well as in Southold at the Suffolk County Marine Environmental Learning Center. Learn about the habitat restoration work we do with marsh grass and help us care for plants that will be used in our restoration work!
We use healthy, strong plants that are germinated by local seed sources to create more healthy plants to be planted at our restoration sites. Volunteers split the plants in half or sometimes in quarters and then re-pot each section with fresh soil, which allows these plants to expand their roots and continue growing. This is known as propagation.
Why do we care about these plants so much? Salt marshes, also known as tidal wetlands, provide a buffer between our developed shorelines and our creeks and bays, helping to filter pollutants and safeguard our waters. These essential zones also provide critical habitat to shorebirds, fish, and shellfish alike. The dominant species comprising the tidal zone of salt marshes, Spartina alterniflora, is vulnerable to changes in elevation caused by sea level rise, and other threats. Unfortunately these critical ecosystems are declining in our region and therefore restoration projects are crucial to ensure these habitats continue to provide for us and our wildlife for years to come.
Plants are held in a nursery and cared for until they are ready to be transported for planting at a designated habitat restoration site.
These volunteer sessions are free and open to the public. Register for the Southold location sessions on EventBrite HERE! For more information regarding workshops in the Southold location, contact Rachel Neville at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Register for the Yahpank sessions at HERE! For information about workshops in Yahpank, contact Liz Ahearn at email@example.com.
Stay tuned for more volunteer opportunities this Fall, when we will be needing help collecting Spartina seed, weaving eelgrass, and germinating more Spartina seed for next spring!