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New seagrass planted in Salerno Creek area of Martin County to help clean water headed to Indian River Lagoon

Crews plant 2,200 seagrass plants
Posted at 7:46 PM, May 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-20 19:59:44-04

MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. — Martin County is expanding a project that helps clean and protect local waterways.

Crews planted 2,200 seagrass plants in the Salerno Creek Stormwater Treatment area Friday morning.

The seagrass helps clean excess nutrients out of the water before it flows into the Indian River Lagoon.

It also helps prevent erosion and support habitats for animals.

Seagrass planted in Martin County, May 20, 2022
The seagrass has multiple benefits for the environment, including helping clean excess nutrients out of the water.

The seagrass was grown and planted by Sea and Shoreline, a Tampa-area organization.

EAI Ecological Associates will conduct regular monitoring of the seagrass, which could expand for miles when it begins to grow and reproduce on its own.

"It's easy. We can come out here, get the grass in, and as long as we plant it in the right areas, it will do amazingly well," Sea and Shoreline Biologist Katie Kramer said.

Nick Muzia, Martin County's infrastructure maintenance manager
Nick Muzia explains how the seagrass benefits water quality.

The project cost about $13,000, which county staff said is a fraction of the cost of other water protection and filtration projects that require more infrastructure.

"We've been doing some preliminary water quality testing on it, and I've been getting really, really good results," Martin County's infrastructure maintenance manager, Nick Muzia, said. "Our cost figures for something like this is several percent of what a typical large-scale infrastructure project would cost."

This is an extension of a 2020 pilot project where seagrass beds were created in the Coral Garden Storm Water Treatment Area.