8th Graders Plant Mangroves with SCCF
SCCF Environmental Educator Richard Finkel has initiated a year-long mangrove study and planting project with eighth graders at the Sanibel School. Over the past month, students have collected red mangrove propagules found washed up along local shorelines, and last week they potted 200 of these seedlings in 1-gallon containers.
“Mangrove seeds germinate while they are still on the tree, a process known as vivipary, which gives them a head start in the growing process over traditional fallen seeds,” Finkel said.
During the school year, students will monitor mangrove growth in different salinity concentrations, soil substrates, and amounts of sunlight and conduct research studies. Students will then have the opportunity to present the results of their research to biologists at SCCF’s Marine Laboratory. At the end of the school year, students will take part in a community mangrove planting project with SCCF’s Coastal Watch, which has been restoring multiple mangrove habitats across Sanibel and Pine Island Sound.
“With these mangroves, students will help stabilize our shorelines, provide vital habitat for marine life, and increase the functioning of our back bay estuary as a nursery and natural filter,” Finkel said. “And they’ll learn about environmental science along the way.”