In 2015, MARSB, with funding from the Hurricane Sandy Supplemental Mitigation Fund and in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the Chicago Botanic Garden (CBG), New England Wild Flower Society (NEWFS), North Carolina Botanic Garden (NCBG) and Cape May Plant Materials Center (CMPMC) launched a region wide seed collection effort to support coastal restoration projects resulting from Hurricane Sandy.

The aims of this project are to provide native, genetically appropriate seed to restoration projects from Maine to Virginia that are the direct result of the devastating 2012 Hurricane. To accomplish this, MARSB, NCBG and NEWFS hired interns through CBG’s Conservation and Land Management Internship Program to make seed collections of targeted plant species. Species were determined not only by what projects need, but also by the habitats that are most vulnerable and adaptable to future severe weather events. These habitats include sub-tidal habitats, beaches and dunes, wetlands and marshes, near-coastal freshwater habitats, coastal forests, and inland rivers and streams.

CAED_MARSB673_October03_DESeashoreStatePark_1All collections are being made according to the Seeds of Success protocol and most collections – those not being used immediately for restoration – are being portioned for both long and short term storage. Another critical partner in this program is the Cape May NRCS Plant Materials Center, which is cleaning all collections and helping distribute these collections to ARS, projects and the regional seed banks.

To date, we have hired 14 interns and made over 1,400 collections while working with over 20 restoration projects to meet their plant material needs. These projects include federal and non-federal lands and range from salt marsh restorations to stream side revegetation post dam removal.

This program is also funding a coordinator for SOS activities in the East to expand Seeds of Success program in the wast as well as ensure more long-term funding sources so that this project can continue.

Initially a two year program, a no-cost extension is allowing us to continue this effort in 2017.

Seed Banking For Resiliency 2015 Report A detailed report on Seeds of Success East 2015 activities and planned actions for 2016.