Highway 90 Sea Oats Moving Out Of Medians - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Highway 90 Sea Oats Moving Out Of Medians

They are the few survivors -- Sea Oats that did not succumb to the overgrown weeds, grass, and rough conditions along the medians.

When WLOX News asked an MDOT engineer if it was an experiment that just didn't work out, he responded, "I think for lack of a better term, yes."

MDOT Engineer David Seyfarth says the department's intention was to plant Sea Oats to landscape and beautify Highway 90.

"There was about $200,000 in the total planting, which includes the beaches," Seyfarth said. "Only a small fraction was planted in the medians."

But most of the young plants in the medians did not make it.

"What we found out is Mother Nature doesn't always do what you think that it will," Seyfarth said. "Apparently we made a bad decision, and the Sea Oats aren't working out."

So Harrison County sand beach crews are trying to salvage the project, and give the Sea Oats another chance.

"We offered that we would transplant the vegetation that are still surviving in those segments of medians," said Sand Beach Director Bobby Weaver. "We'll go ahead and transfer them over to the beach, where it's a much more suitable environment for the plants to survive to try to make the best of the situation."

Once the surviving Sea Oats are in place, they will play a vital role in their new home -- help control erosion.

"Some of the ones we planted last week, are starting to regain that green that they lose from the transplant part because of moisture," Weaver said. "They'll continue to grow and multiply, and have a flourishing dune here probably about a year or so."

"I think they'll still serve the purpose on the beach," Seyfarth said. "Our intent down here was to restore the parkway, and I think we've accomplished that."

Once all the surviving Sea Oats are transferred to the beach, crews will get rid of the dead plants and weeds, and mow those areas of the medians.

By: Trang Pham-Bui

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