(Photo: John Villa)

HBWC is working with students from Edison (Huntington Beach), Pacifica (Garden Grove), and University (Irvine) High Schools to study Cordgrass (spartina). The students have designed and built three growing stations to mimic the conditions for Cordgrass in Magnolia Marsh (System 1) and will vary conditions, e.g. sea water level, water and soil chemistry… to determine the optimal conditions to successfully grow tall and strong Cordgrass. Cordgrass is essential in a salt marsh as it is consumed by a variety of butterflies and also acts as a nesting area for at least one species of endangered birds, the Ridgway’s Rail (Rallus obsoletus). It is strongly used in salt marshes to assist in slowing and reversing shoreline erosion.