LSU Coastal Roots at Ocean Commotion
November 16, 2022
BATON ROUGE, LA - LSU's Coastal Roots Program was an exhibitor at the LA Sea Grant’s Ocean Commotion event on October 25, 2022,
as were the College of Human Sciences & Education Ambassadors, who presented an exhibit entitled, The Nitty-Gritty of Sand. This group was coordinated
by Merrill Bouyer.
Ocean Commotion is an event that shares environmental and coastal knowledge with K-8 students. For the first time in three years, the event was back in person being hosted at the LSU Pete Maravich Assembly Center. This event began in 1998 to celebrate the International Year of the Ocean and was co-coordinated by Pam Blanchard, PhD (who worked for Sea Grant as their education coordinator) and the LSU public relations team. Schools come to see the diverse collection of exhibits and learn about their connection to water, energy, food and life. This year, 1,693 students and 239 adults were in attendance for a grand total of 1,932 people. Schools from eleven different parishes, including two from Calcasieu, were represented. 1,387 of the attendees were from public schools, 281 were charter, and 264 were private. See more photos from the event.
LSU CHSE Ambassadors' exhibit allowed students to examine beach sand samples from around the world. Using a Scope-On-A-Rope (microscope) to examine the samples, students were able to locate where the sand comes from on a world map.
Students from 2nd grade through high school are taking part in this project to learn about and become environmental stewards of their natural resources by establishing native plant nurseries at their schools. Students are growing native plant seedlings and grass plugs that they will plant in a coastal habitat restoration project in south Louisiana and in Chile, South America. There are currently 55 schools across 21 Louisiana parishes currently participating in the LSU Coastal Roots Program, as well as four schools split between Concepcion and Santiago, Chile. Students are working with a variety of native trees, including the Water Oak, Tupelo Gum, Swamp Red Maple, Loblolly Pine, Nuttall Oak, and Longleaf Pine - just to name a few. A number of our schools also grow bitter panicum, a beach dune grass, that is planted on Grand Isle and on the beaches of Cameron Parish.