POSTED: Thursday, March 17, 2011 - 1:08pm
UPDATED: Friday, March 18, 2011 - 7:23am
Lots of dredging took place on the island Thursday, but it wasn’t the usual volunteers, nearly 80 Spring breakers stepped up to plant nearly 8,000 plants.
“You just kind of get your hands dirty and just replenish the dunes. We're constantly getting hit by the wind and water to it's nice to have some replenishment of greenery." said Terra Volz from the Surfriders Foundation.
The greenery, while it's nice, serves a much greater purpose.
"This area of the dunes actually supply sand during an erosion event, replenishes the beach and helps it keeps it's width after a storm." said Reuben Trevino, the SPI Coastal Resource Manager.
College students from several organizations temporarily traded in their swimsuits for work close. They'll definitely make it to the beach to kick back, but first, they put in a little work.
"It's something that really helps Padre out, you know getting the vegetation here, keeping the sand dunes, it's really important, helps the environment, makes the place look beautiful." said Brian Stahnke, a Beach Reach volunteer.
So why would a college co-ed choose to work during their college break?
"I want to help my city." said Mario Rojas, a UTB Senior.
A large makeup of the students working on the dredging project are not locals, they're from all over Texas and the surrounding states and represent Beach Reach, a Baptist based organization that brought over 700 college students to the island to work on various community projects .
"It just sounded like the craziest things I've ever heard of, so I don't know, I just thought it'd be fun, and it has been." said Hanna,a Beach Reach volunteer.
While the twelve inch plants may not look like much now, they'll grow, grow as tall at the sand dunes themselves. As the sand begins to replenish over the plants, that triggers them to grow taller. The special vegetation helps to stabilize the sand dunes.
The dredging project will continue well after these Spring breakers leave. If you’d like to help restore the beach and it’s dunes you can join in and help on April 2nd. More information on this volunteering opportunity will be available on the SPI website, www.myspi.org , about a week prior to the event.