North & South Rivers Watershed Association

4th Graders Plant Beachgrass To Protect Dunes From Coastal Erosion

Scituate 4th graders from Cushing Elementary School helped the Town of Scituate, the North and South Rivers Watershed Association (NSRWA) and EPA’s MassBays program plant beachgrass at Peggotty Beach on Wednesday, April 12th. Sara Grady, NSRWA Ecologist/South Shore MassBays and Nancy Durfee, Scituate Coastal Resources Officer gave a brief lesson on why beachgrass is important and showed the kids how to plant it. The students planted almost 10,000 culms (stalks) of grass, filling in gaps and open areas in the dunes along both sides of the walkway onto the beach.

The students have been studying a unit on weathering and erosion in class. Through this unit, the students developed an understanding of erosion and the weathering processes that affect landforms. The kids identified the processes that shape landforms, including causes of erosion. Planting the beachgrass allowed students to carry out an investigation and gain real life experience on what they can do to help prevent erosion along their own coastline. This hands-on project was personal for the students and they were excited to know that they made a difference in their own community. They are now eager to witness the growth of the grass throughout the spring and summer and spread the word on how beachgrass can slow down the erosion process. The students now also understand the importance of staying off the beachgrass during the year.

The students were very enthusiastic about the project. Student Teddy B. said, “I like planting the grass because I know it will help save the beaches in our community.” Another student William H. said, “I really like that I was part of stopping erosion in Scituate—it was fun!”

The teachers thanked the town and NSRWA saying, “It is a project like this that truly make a difference and encourages students to be life-long learners.”

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