Photo Journal: Sunken Meadow State Park marsh planting

Over the weekend, dozens of volunteers from Long Island and beyond joined Save the Sound and our partners to participate in a planting that marks the beginning of the restoration of a healthy salt marsh at Sunken Meadow State Park in Kings Park, NY. Nearly 60 volunteers and 10 coordinators braved the muddy conditions to plant over 3000 plants over 3 hours. This is part of an ongoing process with the goal of converting 1 acre of mudflats into salt marsh, a feat calling for 12,000 individual cordgrass plants. Here are some photos from last Saturday’s volunteer planting!

UPDATE: Two weeks after our volunteer planting, we contract SumCo Eco-Contracting LLC to complete the planting. Over the course of two days, they planted over 7,000 plants to finish the planting of a full acre of salt marsh. NYS Parks Department took care of the fencing and flash line.

Volunteers from Long Island and beyond joined Save the Sound and our partners to participate in a planting that marks the beginning of the restoration of a healthy salt marsh at Sunken Meadow State Park.
Volunteers from Long Island and beyond joined Save the Sound and our partners to participate in a planting that marks the beginning of the restoration of a healthy salt marsh at Sunken Meadow State Park.
This is what one acre of mudflats looks like. Without the protection of the native smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora), the mudflats were in danger of suffering the effects of erosion and damage from storm events.
This is what one acre of mudflats looks like. Without the protection of the native smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora), the mudflats were in danger of suffering the effects of erosion and damage from storm events.
NY State Parks staff plant smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) at Sunken Meadow State Park
NY State Parks staff plant smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) at Sunken Meadow State Park

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Volunteers planted 3000 plants in 3 (muddy) hours!
Volunteers planted 3000 plants in 3 (muddy) hours!

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Volunteers began the day a bit tentative about getting too muddy and trying to maintain our dignity.
Volunteers began the day a bit tentative about getting too muddy and trying to maintain our dignity.

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While one volunteer plants, another follows behind with fertilizer to give the transplants a jump start.
While one volunteer plants, another follows behind with fertilizer to give the transplants a jump start.
Save the Sound’s John Champion up to his knees in Long Island Sound muck and loving it!
Save the Sound’s John Champion up to his knees in Long Island Sound muck and loving it!
Volunteers install fencing and string to protect the new salt marsh from predation by Canada geese.
Volunteers install fencing and string to protect the new salt marsh from predation by Canada geese.
The new vegetation converted the previously barren mudflats into a healthy salt marsh that will reduce erosion and flooding in the event of a significant storm event. A healthy marsh will benefit fish as a spawning grounds and as a nursery and foraging habitat.
The new vegetation converted the previously barren mudflats into a healthy salt marsh that will reduce erosion and flooding in the event of a significant storm event. A healthy marsh will benefit fish as a spawning grounds and as a nursery and foraging habitat.
The salt marsh sparrow--a federally-listed species--will be able to find food and habitat in the new marsh. (Photo: Richard Crossley/Audubon)
The salt marsh sparrow–a federally-listed species–will be able to find food and habitat in the new marsh. (Photo: Richard Crossley/Audubon)
Thank you to all our volunteers for braving the mud and joining us to restore a healthy salt marsh!
Thank you to all our volunteers for braving the mud and joining us to restore a healthy salt marsh!
Project partners including Save the Sound, NY Parks, Fish and Wildlife Service, Long Island Sound Study, NY Sea grant and many great volunteers gathered to celebrate the restoration of salt marsh at Sunken Meadow State Park.
Project partners including Save the Sound, NY Parks, Fish and Wildlife Service, Long Island Sound Study, NY Sea grant and many great volunteers gathered to celebrate the restoration of salt marsh at Sunken Meadow State Park.
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Have you ever seen an acre of 12,000 plants? Here it is!

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