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NOAA CRP RESTORATION PROJECTS
YEAR 2006 - CRP Project #5001 (Gulf of Mexico)

Project #5001
Grasses in Classes Program

Baldwin County, Alabama


Watering plants grown in greenhouse

Project name: Grasses in Classes Program (#5001)
Project status: Complete
Grant Administrator: Gulf of Mexico Foundation (for NOAA)
Grantee: Weeks Bay NERR / Baldwin County Board of Education
Project location: Baldwin County, Alabama
Grant period: Jan 1-Dec 31, 2006
Grant amount: $25,895
Land Ownership:
     Bon Secour Wildlife Refuge site Federal, public
     Weeks Bay site State, public
     Barner Branch on Fish River site - State, public
Lat/Long:
     Bon Secour Wildlife Refuge site: 30.22781/-87.83147
     Weeks Bay site: 30.41800/-87.83112
     Barner Branch on Fish River site: 30.45606/-87.80254
Types of Habitat:
     Bon Secour Wildlife Refuge - beach dune
     Weeks Bay - salt marsh
     Barner Branch on Fish River freshwater SAV and emergent plants
Project leader: Margaret H. Sedlecky
                        Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
                        US Hwy 98
                        Fairhope AL 36532
                        phone: (251) 928-9792
                        fax: (251) 928-1792

Species Benefiting From Restoration:
  • tape grass (Vallisneria americana)
  • salt marsh cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora)
  • black needle rush (Juncus romerianus)
  • sea oats (Uniola paniculata)
  • saltmeadow cordgrass (Spartina patens)
  • coastal panicgrass (Panicum amarum)

Acres of Habitat To be Restored:
     Bon Secour Wildlife Refuge approximately .5 acres
     Weeks Bay - approximately .25 acres
     Barner Branch on Fish River- approximately .5 acres

Project Summary:
The Baldwin County Grasses in Classes (BCGIC) program was started in January 2005 to facilitate the establishment and maintenance of nurseries by Baldwin County school students to grow native plants for submerged, wetland and dune restoration projects. Funding from the Gulf of Mexico Community-based Restoration Partnership will allow us to expand the program by providing training for interested teachers and by establishing nurseries at their high schools.

The BCGIC program provides a volunteer base for implementation of restoration projects and promotes student involvement in community-based restoration activities. With guidance from teachers and experts, the students will maintain and monitor the nursery at their school. Students will also assist local scientists with monitoring the restoration sites during the school year whenever possible.

With funding, the BCGIC program will assist with the following three proposed restoration projects in 2006 by providing plants and student volunteers:

  1. Bon Secour Wildlife Refuge has requested the assistance of the BCGIC program to assist in the restoration of dune habitats. Panicum amarum, Spartina patens and Uniola paniculata will be planted by student volunteers on Refuge property.
  2. Weeks Bay Reserve staff have requested the assistance of the BCGIC program to remove invasive Phragmites spp. and replant Spartina alterniflora and Juncus romerianus grasses along Weeks Bay.
  3. Weeks Bay Reserve Watershed Project has requested the assistance of the BCGIC program to replant Vallisneria americana and other emergent wetland plants in Barner Branch.

Project Objectives:
  1. promote individual stewardship and understanding of coastal ecosystems through community-based restoration activities
  2. facilitate the establishment and maintenance of native plant nurseries by Baldwin County school students
  3. provide students with meaningful hands-on activities which will provide investigative and problem solving experience
  4. provide federal, state, and local agencies with plants and a volunteer base for implementation of restoration projects

Community Involvement:
Working with teachers and students the BCGIC program will provide plants as well as a volunteer base for implementation of restoration projects and will promote student involvement in community-based restoration activities. With guidance from teachers and other experts, the students will maintain and monitor the plant nursery at their school. Students will also assist local scientists with monitoring the restoration sites during the school year whenever possible.

PROJECT PARTNERS

NOAA Restoration Center

Gulf of Mexico Foundation

Baldwin County Board of Education

Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve

Mississippi Alabama Sea Grant

Natural Resource Conservation Service

US Fish and Wildlife Service

ADCNR, Division of Wildlife & Freshwater Fisheries

ADCNR, State Lands Division, Coastal Section

Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge

Baldwin County Extension System

Gulf State Park

Mobile Bay National Estuary Program

Baldwin County Soil and Water Conservation District

Gulf of Mexico Foundation - PMB 51, 5403 Everhart - Corpus Christi, TX 78411
(800) 884-4175 toll free - (361) 882-3939 phone - (361) 882-1262 fax
e-mail: info@gulfmex.org     website: gulfmex.org
webmaster: Carrie Robertson