by Sanibel School Students Samantha Wells and Olivia Kauffold
The Sanibel School’s eighth-grade students will plant mangroves at a local restoration site on Friday, May 12. Determined to rebuild our shorelines, the students will plant approximately 200 mangroves, some of which were part of a year-long study started before Hurricane Ian as part of a project led by Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation Environmental Educator Richard Finkel.
“After the hurricane, many mangroves were wiped out by the strong storm surge, which has affected the ecosystem greatly,” said Siena Young, an eighth grader. “Mangroves are home to many animals like egrets, herons, crabs, snails and spoonbills. Mangroves’ tangled roots also work as a barrier to protect coastlines from flooding.”
Finkel will accompany the students at the site along Woodring Road, as they work hard to make a difference for Sanibel’s environment.
“By planting new mangroves, we hope to provide homes for many organisms, restore damaged beaches and protect Sanibel from future storms,” said student Emma Knight.
Those interested in assisting with future habitat restoration projects can contact SCCF Coastal Watch Director Kealy McNeal by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Part of the SCCF family, Coastal Watch creates and implements conservation initiatives promoting and improving the future of marine resources and coastal hearitage.