Dr. Herry Utomo, molecular geneticist at the Rice Research Station, is applying the methods he uses to help rice breeders in developing varieties of spartina marsh grass. Monday, an airplane flew to the east side of Marsh Island in Vermilion Bay to drop seeds of the plants Utomo and his staff have developed. The area planted is a test being conducted as part of a federally funded 1,159-acre project being administered by the Louisiana Office of Coastal Protection and Restoration and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
A total of 3.8 million cubic yards of dredged material was removed from East Cote Blanche Bay to repair hurricane damage on Marsh Island. Levees were built to contain the material.
Shown in the picture above with Utomo, the airplane dropped the smooth cordgrass seed in the same way that rice seed is applied by air.
However, most of the revegetation on the project will use small marsh plants that will be transplanted by hand.
Click on the videos below to see the planting operation: