CRPS students to plant eelgrass in bay Special to the Chronicle

On Friday, May 12, fifth-graders from Crystal River Primary School are planting over 1,500 “Rock Star” eelgrass plants between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Hunter Springs Park in Crystal River.

The students have worked hard while learning about the environment for five months to boost the Save Crystal River Inc.’s (SCR) King’s Bay Restoration Project.

Eelgrass seedlings were planted by the students during Eco Week in December with the help of volunteers from SCR and Duke Energy.

Water and sand in an aquarium, along with the proper instruction to care for the “Rock Star” — a hybrid of native grass — were provided.

This unique eelgrass also helps stabilize the shoreline, filters pollutants and provides a valuable food source for fish, manatees and other marine life.

“The eelgrass planting project gives students a hands-on experience and reinforces to them the importance of protecting our environment. The planting at Hunter Springs Park is one of the many reasons that Crystal River Primary School holds the Green Flag Award,” said Superintendent of Schools Sandra “Sam” Himmel.

Crystal River Primary School was awarded the Green Flag Award by the National Wildlife Federation. Only two primary schools in the state hold this honor.

Save Crystal River Inc., a nonprofit organization, is committed to restoring King’s Bay now and for future generations to come. It’s a coalition and partnership of friends and neighbors, young parents and retirees, career professionals and business owners, residents and community leaders who became united by their commitment to maintain and protect the unique quality of life for all people in the communities of Crystal River and Citrus County.

The public is encouraged to join in the restoration initiative. Many dignitaries are scheduled to attend.

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