Students Help Restore Gulf Coast Ecosystem

March 30, 2011

A group of University of Mount Union students, two staff members and an alumnus spent their spring break in Niceville, Florida restoring the Gulf Coast ecosystem.
 
Sponsored by the Ralph and Mary Regula Center for Public Service and Civic Engagement, the students spent the week working on numerous projects including:
  • Re-constructing a creek to collect and purify storm water runoff before allowing the water to flow back into the ocean.
  • Filling net bags with fossilized oyster shells and wading out into the bayou to place the bags along the coast line to help create root systems to protect the shores and reduce erosion.
  • Working with the state park department to clear a trail of trees, grasses, vines and stumps through the forest for emergency vehicles to access water in the event of forest fires in the area.
  • Assisting a local Native American community with development projects, including a health clinic and a pantry, as well as working with their afterschool program to tutor and mentor children ages five through 11.
When the students were not hard at work, they had the opportunity to spend time at the beach, go shopping and attend a dolphin cruise.
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