ROC on Deerfield Island Park - Take 2

 

           PROJECT ROC (Reclaiming Our Coastline) comes to Deerfield Island Park with a Bang!

At 8:00 am Saturday April 20th  the Deerfield Island Ferry was packed with over 50 volunteers waiting to board and to participate in the second Restore Our Coastline (ROC)  event.  They were about to undertake expansion of the EXPERIMENTAL salt marsh created on the island last year..  There are no natural salt marshes in  BROWARD County any more.  All the areas where they existed have been either concreted over or bulkheaded.  Salt marshes serve as nurseries for fish, crustaceans, insects and plants.  Most of the seafood we consume have their origin in the salt marsh.  The plantings last year have been successful and the hope is that this program will be extended to other parks.

Berch Tree Service provided workers to cut down and remove invasive species : Australian pine, Mahoe, and the Brazilian Pepper.  They all compete with native species for survival .  Mangrove trees are an important native species because they protect the shoreline, reduce erosion, trap sediment, and stabilize the river banks and are part of the formative nursery ecosystem. They also serve as rookeries for birds.  Planting, and removing competitors,  and adding to the existing salt grasses hopefully will contribute to a healthier environment for many species that we depend on.

The Friends of Deerfield Island Park were led by Kristen Hoss,  organizer and executive director of YEA ( Youth Environmental Alliance).  Joining them were members of YEA, BROWARD Parks and Recreation employees, Hands on BROWARD, south Florida Audubon, and volunteers from Federal Express.   Funding came from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Community Foundation of BROWARD, and FedEx.  Seedlings came from the National Wildlife Federation.

23 large invasive trees were removed, 35 mangroves were planted along with 120 cordgrass and 20 sea pickle. Armagan spent hours at the chipper.  Between weekend visitors to the island and the volunteers, the activity level called for many extra ferry trips for the shuttle drivers. 

Come by and see the “open sky” area next to the kiosk down to the water’s edge. Now this experimental salt marsh area will have a better chance to flourish.

                                     

       FoDIP members  Fred Gross, Jeanette Gross, Caroline Steffen, Janet Moore, Karen Hutson, Bruce Hutson...... Coordinator Kristen Hoss

 

                                                     

                                                   Parks Maintenance Naturalist Armagan