Gulf Shores City Schools, in partnership with Dune Doctors and Gulf State Park, is set to host the Planting for Protection (P4P) event, aimed at engaging local students in the initiation of coastal …
Gulf Shores City Schools, in partnership with Dune Doctors and the Gulf State Park, is set to host the Planting for Protection (P4P) event, aimed at engaging local students in the initiation of coastal dunes along the Gulf State Park through the installation of native dune-building vegetation according to a news release.
The event, scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., will not only involve hands-on restoration but will also feature short classes led by Gulf State Park Natural Resource Planner Kelly Reetz and Frederique Beroset, a Plant Biologist, and Coastal Restoration Expert with Dune Doctors.
Forty students from Gulf Shores High and Middle Schools have been selected as P4P Mentors to guide over 150 5th graders in the installation of 1,500 native, dune-building plants. This initiative follows a lecture series conducted by teachers from Gulf Shores High School at the school's Sustainability Academy. The series focuses on educating students about the native coastal landscape and the ecotourism industry of Gulf Shores.
Preserving and safeguarding coastal dune ecosystems holds paramount importance for the health of the Gulf Shores community. The sea oats lining the beaches act as a crucial defense against coastal erosion during extreme weather events. While resilient enough to stabilize the shoreline, this habitat is delicate and susceptible to damage from foot and vehicle traffic. Through the P4P event, Gulf Shores students will contribute to the initiation of dunes along the Gulf State Park.
Frederique Beroset, CEO of Dune Doctors, expressed the significance of hands-on restoration in fostering a personal commitment to preserving Alabama's coastal dunes.
"Through hands-on restoration, students develop a personal stake in the preservation of Alabama's coastal dunes," Beroset said in the release. "Our goal is to help educate the next generation of Coastal Stewards, who feel empowered to educate their community on the importance and benefits of building coastal resiliency."