Annual Bay Day promotes preserves

Published: Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 11:21 AM.

Membership is now over 200 and still growing, Chafin said. A new Preserve manager, Dylan Shoemaker, is also on board.

“The Friends need your help and support in order to continue working to make the Preserves the best they can be and provide a place of enjoyment and learning for the public,” Chafin said. “Dylan arrived in January and has made a substantial impact at the Buffer Preserve.

“A new Aquatic Preserve manager is expected to join the crew before long to further promote the ongoing positive relationship between the uplands and the bay.”

St. Joseph Bay State Buffer Preserve is located on State Road 30-A at Simmons Bayou. St. Joseph Bay Aquatic Preserve encompasses 73,000 submerged acres in the bay and gulf. The Friends group work to help both hence they are Friends of the Preserves while each of the preserve are a separate entity.

The Aquatic Preserve has not been funded through the state so a group of dedicated volunteers sample the water and use a transect to observe the sea grass to ensure the pristine condition of the water and sea grass for all living in the bay.

Plants are a major area of study on the Buffer Preserve. The preserve’s crop of Chapman’s rhododendrons is the largest population of its kind on public lands. Other federally or state threatened or endangered plant populations are observed and conditions created that encourage their growth.

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