Raffle Table For This Month
Recipient: Sea Oats Planting
Sponsors: Ray Wortley
Those plants with the large plumes you see along the beach may look like weeds, but they are a vital part of the ecosystem. Sea oats play an important role in coastal conservation. That’s why PHCF is raising money to buy sea oats to plant on our favorite beach to better protect them from hurricanes and beach erosion.
Sea oats are actually a miraculous little production plant, and there’s a whole lot more going on than those plumes you see on the surface. They have a massive root system capable of holding soil and sand in place during extreme weather like hurricanes and tropical storms.
The sand that collects around the plant actually stimulates its growth. The cycle of sand collection and plant growth facilitates expansion of the sea oats and the sand dunes. If a sea oat is buried by the sand, it develops an underground stem system that grows to the surface and produces another plant.
Sea oat leaves and stems also trap wind-blown sand. That increases the size of the dunes, too. Of course, sand dunes also help protect the coast from erosion during high winds and storm surges.