|Texas students restore beach vegetation|
Home and public school students on spring break from age five through high school used their vacation to help sea turtles that will soon be nesting on the Upper Texas Coast. Over 4000 sprigs of sea oats and other native vegetation were planted.
"People are eager to help the Kemp's ridley sea turtles with hands-on work," said Kathy Pratt, a home school mom from Deer Park who recruited 100 students and parents on behalf of the Sea Turtle Restoration Project. They worked on Monday and Tuesday to restore vegetation on West Galveston Island sand dunes.
Coming from as far as Burnett and Fort Worth, Texas, students joined the project sponsored by Artist Boat, a nonprofit based in Galveston promoting preservation of coastal margins.
"The nesting sea turtles look for dunes with vegetation before they dig a hole to lay eggs," said Kaitlyn Pratt, an 11-year-old who came on both Monday and Tuesday and planted at least 800 sea oat sprigs. "When Hurricane Ike came, many plants that cover the dunes were destroyed and a lot of sand was lost that the turtles need."
"Everyone worked hard but had a good time doing it," Kathy said. "Home school families are especially eager to pursue projects to help endangered species while they learn about the environment. Isabel, age five, who lives in Weatherford, Texas, kept asking if she was helping the sea turtles as she planted sprigs. The Sea Turtle Restoration Project gave us all the opportunity to help."