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Last updated: June 24, 2015

Northwest District DEP Northwest District -Salt Marsh Restoration Nursery Operations DEPQuick Links


Nursery Operations

Vegetation for salt marsh restoration is acquired either through whole plant collections or stem cuttings.  We operate under a De Minimis permit which allows us to collect Spartina alterniflora (smooth cordgrass) from several salt marsh habitats within the Pensacola Bay System.  Collecting from a variety of areas promotes genetic diversity and limits the degradation that would occur if collection areas were limited. 

Collections are conducted in densely vegetated salt marsh habitats in order to ensure minimal stress to the habitat.  Plants are carefully extracted from various areas within the salt marsh and cleaned of any sediment or organisms found on the stalk or root systems.  The plants are then transported back to the DEP Nursery where they are planted in 4x4in pots with pine bark potting soil and a small amount of slow release fertilizer.  When there is no longer sufficient space for the roots to spread out (approximately 3 months), the plants are divided by hand and replanted in new 4x4in pots thus multiplying our stock. 

Stem cuttings are prepared by pruning the soft tissue tips of selected vegetation (upland species) and then are replanted in a nursery setting with a supplementary rooting hormone.

Species currently in production via stem cuttings:

Baccharis halimifolia (salt bush)

Iva frutescens (marsh elder)

Panicum amarum (panic grass)   


Species currently in production via divisions:

Juncus roermerianus (blackneedle rush)

Paspalum distichum (knotgrass)

Spartina alterniflora (smooth cordgrass)

Spartina patens (salt meadow cordgrass

Sporobolu virginicus (coastal dropseed)



For more information, contact: Beth Fugate



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