"Seeds to Shoreline" Science Project
As part of their study of ecology, Cindy Renkas's seventh grade science students teamed up with scientists from the Department of Natural Resources and the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium to participate in a special "Seeds to Shoreline" study of Spartina alterniflorens (marshgrass) throughout the 2011-2012 school year.
The students collected seeds in November from plants growing right across the street from Mason Prep at Alberta Long Lake. The seeds were overwintered in a jar of brackish water in the refrigerator, then warmed up in January and planted in early February in small pots. The pots were divided into two experimental groups, placed in a greenhouse behind the school, and watered daily by student "plant care teams." By the end of April the results were clear: Spartina plants sprouted quicker and grew larger when watered with fresh water rather than brackish water. Students then planted all plants in a saltmarsh grass area near the City Marina, to help build up the area's capability to mitigate pollutants flowing into the waterway from area streets, parking lots, and boats.
Please take a minute to check out the slide show from this terrific project!
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