Sandy Success: Delaware Beach Grass Planting Sees Good Turnout
For most outdoor events poor weather can be the factor that makes or breaks turnout, but not the Surfrider Foundation’s Beach Grass Planting in Delaware.
The Saturday morning event on March 19 had temperatures as low as 39 degrees, but turnout was still just as good as expected.
“It was very cold and pretty windy out there,” Dominic Ragni, Volunteer Event Coordinator for the Delaware Surfrider Foundation said. “It was a pretty miserable day out there but people still showed up.”
He said that they got nearly perfect attendance based on the amount of people who signed up. Environmental Scientist Jennifer Luoma, who works with the state of Delaware organizing the event, estimated that around 1,000 volunteers braved the weather to help keep the beaches healthy.
She said that almost 150,000 units of grass were planted across five miles of coastline. Any grass that was not planted at the event has since set its’ roots down along the shore.
Organizations ranging from the Girl Scouts to the Delaware Mobile Surf-Fisherman came out to help.
DMS President Bruce West said about 15-20 group members showed up and were tasked with driving volunteers to different locations across the beach. The organization also provided refreshments such as hot dogs and hot chocolate to volunteers to keep them warm and motivated.
“We’ve been helping out for years and years,” West said.
Overall organizers viewed this year’s beach grass planting as a positive experience. From the good turnout and large scale of help, to the foods and drinks counteracting the cool breeze, the benefits of the day seemed to outweigh the negatives.
“A lot of volunteers came out and we got a lot of grass planted,” Luoma said. “This year was on the more successful side of some of the plantings we’ve had.”