Students in Three States Learn Hands-On Marsh Restoration

The Takeaway: Project involves 32,000+ students collecting, cultivating, and transplanting, all in the name of restoration.

South Carolina’s only salt marsh restoration program designed for students has been so well-received—involving 32,000 young people and the planting of 25,000-plus Spartina seedlings—that Georgia and North Carolina have signed on, too.

Since its 2011 launch at the ACE Basin National Estuarine Research Reserve, From Seeds to Shoreline® has taught South Carolina students from 40 schools the critical importance of this ecosystem through hands-on experience that fulfills K-12 science education standards. Collecting marsh grass seeds in autumn, students cultivate them in winter and transplant seedlings along vulnerable shorelines in early spring, stabilizing them to stand strong against flooding, storms, and erosion.

“From Seeds to Shoreline aligns perfectly with the science curriculum standards,” says teacher Lori Essenberg of Sullivan’s Island Elementary School. “More importantly, it gives my students the opportunity to learn about the environment and allows them to help in its restoration.”

The project takes place at South Carolina’s ACE Basin Reserve and North Inlet-Winyah Bay Reserve, Georgia’s Sapelo Island Reserve, and North Carolina’s North Carolina Reserve. (2017)

More Information: From Seeds to Shoreline

Partners: ACE Basin Reserve, Clemson University Cooperative Extension, North Carolina Reserve, North Inlet-Winyah Bay Reserve, Sapelo Island Reserve, South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium