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Sea oats planting event needs volunteers

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A section of Treasure Island beachfront in Sunset Beach is scheduled for a sea oats planting on Saturday, June 27, 2015, says Treasure Island Public Works Director Mike Helfrich. The area set for planting is from 80th Avenue northward 1500 feet to approximately the Sunset Chateau.

“We’ve got approximately 5000 of the small sea oats seedlings to plant,” said Helfrich.

The number of plants sounds like a lot, but surprisingly, the planting goes fast. Helfrich explains why, in a couple of hours, a large tract of sea oats can be planted: “We lay out the plants ahead of time in the places where we intend to create or repair sand dunes. All our volunteers have to do is take a sturdy metal pole, make a little hole in the sand and drop the plant in. That’s it.”

He asks volunteers to bring their own gloves, sunscreen, hats and sunglasses. Drinking water and planting tools will be provided.

Helfrich said people generally work in pairs, one on “hole” duty, the other making sure the plant is secure in the sand. “It’s not back-breaking work,” he assures. “It’s really very social, too. Plus, you get to help build new sand dunes.”

It is a perfect Saturday morning activity for civic associations, church groups, environmental organizations or just a bunch of friends looking to do some green work.

Sea oats help stabilize sand and create dunes. The dunes reduce coastal erosion and protect the homes and businesses behind the dune area. Pinellas County Coastal Management provides the free sea oat seedlings.

When: Saturday, June 27th, 2015, 7:30am
Where: Ring-Billed Gull lot, West Gulf Boulevard & between 81st & 82nd Avenues
Parking: Meet at Ring-Billed lot for parking passes
Contact: 727-547-4575 ext. 251