May 10, 2023 – PENSACOLA, FL. – EscaRosa Oyster Corps members planted over 100 saltmeadow cordgrass plants with students from Pace High School to restore shoreline along Floridatown Park on May 9, 2023.
EscaRosa Oyster Corps is supported through the PPBEP Community Grant Program that supports local action projects that serve to restore, preserve, connect, inform, and educate. OysterCorps members work to restore and protect our coastal resources by collecting and recycling oyster shells, growing native marsh plants, implementing living shoreline and marsh restoration projects, and educating high school students through hands on work experience.
The OysterCorps program is part of the AmeriCorps Opportunity Youth Service Initiative that is designed to provide education and conservation experience to young people experiencing barriers. Funding from the Estuary Program directly supports coastal restoration training, job readiness, and career pathways for local youth.
Students in Pace High School teacher Joshua Brooks’ class joined Oyster Corps members for a field trip to learn field monitoring techniques, monitor the success of a planting completed by students in 2022, and to install additional grasses to help protect the shoreline from erosion at Floridatown Park.
EscaRosa Oyster Corps has received two grants from the Estuary Program totaling approximately $100,000. During their first year, corps members recycled 57.75 tons of oyster shell, provided 33,000 plants for restoration projects, and gained over 5,000 hours of field experience.
The 2023-2024 PPBEP Community Program cycle is expected to open for applications in early July. Local governments or nonstate entities (educational institutions and 501(c)3s) are eligible to submit a proposal for projects located within the Perdido and/or Pensacola watershed within Escambia, Santa Rosa, and/or Okaloosa counties.