Ransom Everglades Senior High Gets MUVE-ing!

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It’s that time of year for high school seniors. Final exams. Prom. Planning for college. Saving your environment. The last one may not be on everyone’s list, but thankfully, it is on the list of many students at Ransom Everglades Upper School. South Florida coastal habitats are under constant threat from urban development and climate change, and they are also vitally important to coastal populations – both human and animal, and both above water and underwater. At the intersection of all this is mangroves. Mangroves help buffer the full power of hurricanes on coastal communities, and provide essential animal habitats. Last week, for a Senior Service Day, 140 students did their part and joined an event with the Museum’s MUVE project (Museum Volunteers for the Environment). They spent their day replanting mangrove propagules on Virginia Key that had been previously grown and displayed as an eco-art project during their senior year. Other students at Virginia Key North Point paved the way for further environmental restoration by clearing the invasive scaveola dune plant and other human debris that keep native plants from growing freely.

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There is one more creature who will be particularly thankful for these efforts, in addition to all the plants, animals (and humans) who call this place home, and depend on it for survival. Virginia Key Beach is a loggerhead turtle nesting area, so the big machinery sometimes used to clear big areas of invasive species like Australian Pine can’t be used here. Students were careful to steer clear of nesting sites, as they helped to restore our unique south Florida landscape by hand.

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Next up! MUVE will team with Tourism Cares for an event in which volunteers will take the next step, planting native sea oats on the coastline that the Ransom Everglades students helped clear for them.

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