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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Fort Johnson Rd, South Carolina, USA

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Fort Johnson Rd, South Carolina, USA
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Registered: March 2019
City/Town/Province: Ladson
Posts: 1
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Ciara Mayes

Spartina Alterniflora: A Cause for Concern

Growing up in Asheville, North Carolina, I was surrounded by Pisgah National Forest that included 600,000 acres of forests, rivers, and streams that made it easy for me to find a passion for the outdoors and the environment. This recent summer, I job shadowed at our local Department of Natural Resources (DNR) on James Island to observe a day of an environmental scientist. The interest in Environmental Sciences sparked an idea of "What if I created a club to get my school more involved in the environment?" This idea became my most meaningful achievement, the founding of the L.I.F.E club. L.I.F.E stands for Living In Future Environments and spreads information about coastal issues and how to reduce human impact on marine pollution. For example, on November 20th, the L.I.F.E club took a field trip to James Island, SC to help DNR collect marsh grass (spartina alterniflora) seeds to replant in the Spring to prevent erosion, create physical filters, and provide habitats for aquatic life. We collected grass seeds, split them into bags, and filled them with water. We then stored them in a refrigerator to trick the plant into winter habits, making the seeds sprout sooner. We will alternate day trips to the coastal plain at the Fort Johnson Greenhouse to water the seeds until they begin sprouting. With the help of 27 volunteers, we collected approximately one million seeds.
Not only does the L.I.F.E club occasionally take field trips, but we also held contests for upcycling projects, making useful items out of recycled ones, participating in beach sweeps, demonstrating the issues, hosting guest speakers, working with adopt-a-spot in the Charleston area, raising money for DNR equipment, and providing recycling bins within our school. We also participated in oyster restoration by collecting oyster shells from seafood restaurants or from the shores in order to build oyster reefs which prevent erosion on the marshes.
L.I.F.E gives me the opportunity to explore the challenges all coastlines face. Volunteering for DNR has shown me the different careers where I could affect the environment but also influence environmental policy.
The L.I.F.E. club offers leadership, communication, and social skills. I learned how to lead by claiming responsibility of inspiring and motivating L.I.F.E members to maximize their efforts on conservation and sustainability matters in our community. I developed communication skills by public speaking; a quality I once lacked. Best of all, I discovered how to work and interact with others who share the same interest, creating new relationships. I plan to utilize these skills to pursue an environmental career in Wildlife and Fisheries at Clemson University.
L.I.F.E allows me to learn and understand the problems that coastal regions face with human encroachment, lack of resources, and the issues of non-recycling on marshes, wetlands, and marine habitat found along the southeast coast.
Date: March 26, 2019 Views: 4827 File size: 14.3kb, 2094.0kb : 2592 x 1728
Hours Volunteered: 81
Volunteers: 27
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 18 & 14-18
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