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Nicholls team works to preserve coastal grasses

Members of the Department of Biological Sciences at Nicholls State University, accompanied by a volunteer, planted smooth cordgrass in the manmade pond at the Nicholls Farm on Thursday, June 10.

The team acquired the grass from Elmer’s Island. Pictured from left are Dr. Allyse Ferrara, associate professor of biological sciences; Des Allemands native Lisa Breaux, a graduate student with an academic focus on marsh plants; John Ferrara, father of Dr. Ferrara, visiting from Chardon, Ohio; and Dr. Quenton Fontenot, associate professor of biological sciences. Gary Fine, research associate and plant material specialist at Nicholls, also helped with the planting – the purpose for which is to increase the abundance of smooth cordgrass for replanting efforts wherever necessary. The biology team wants to have a reserve of different strains of plants for different ecotypes, sampled from several areas throughout the coast. Fine and Sam Wise, a Nicholls graduate student, constructed the pond. The overall effort is part of the Louisiana Native Plant Initiative.

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