911 Day of Service: Making a Sustanable Difference

This service project aims at improving our local environment. Florida International University (FIU) Biscayne Bay Campus is fortunate to be fringed with mangrove habitat and adjacent to the Bay. Therefore, we, as a community aim to keep the area clean and healthy. During the service project participants will assist with a variety of projects. This includes a beach cleanup, invasive plant removal, planting, and collection of mangrove seeds. The coastal cleanup will remove the trash that has washed ashore and is tangled within the roots of the mangroves. Mangroves are a unique tree that can tolerate saltwater so they grow along the coast, which creates a buffer for the campus when strong storms approach. Additionally, the root systems create habitat for the valuable juvenile fish. A result of living in this unique habitat is that the trees actually take in carbon dioxide through their roots instead of their leaves so when the trash becomes tangled in the roots it is cutting off its air supply. Furthermore, the trash is crushing or taking up the space where mangrove seedlings could grow. The second project to occur during the service event is the removal of invasive plants. Unfortunately, Florida has many invasive plants introduced and many of them encroach on mangrove habitat either killing the mangroves or taking up the land they would use. Therefore, we remove these harmful plants to create more habitats for the important mangroves. The last aspect of the service day is the collection of mangrove seeds. These seeds are dropped from the mature trees and float in the water until suitable habitat is found. Once that habitat is found the seeds take root and begin the journey of growing into a full tree. As discussed above, much of this habitat is not optimal for the seeds to grow properly. Therefore, we collect these seeds and propagate them in a greenhouse and then plant them in suitable habitat to ensure a higher survival rate. These seeds will be collected at the same time the trash is removed from our shoreline. Expected outcomes: * A large portion of the shoreline on BBC will have the trash removed. * Approximately half an acre of invasive plants will be removed from mangrove habitat. * At least 5,000 mangroves seeds will be collected for propagation. Approximate number of people impacted: The number of people impacted by this project is very large. The BBC community, about 8,000 people, will benefit from a cleaner and natural coast and the protection from storm surge. Additionally, the citizens that use BBC's walking trail that parallels the area being worked on during the service event will benefit from the improvements. Finally, there will be a large impact of the environment and those that utilize the Bay. By allowing the mangroves to function as a healthier system a better ecosystem is being provided. South Florida rears many commercial and recreational fish species. These fish begin their lives in the roots of the mangrove trees. Creating a healthier mangrove forest creates better habitat for the juvenile fish, which increases the population of fish that many rely on and enjoy fishing for. Furthermore, users of the Bay will enjoy the more natural, beautiful habitat that is allowed to flourish. We anticipate approximately 150-200 students to participate in the 9/11 Day of Service this year. This project is sponsored by Florida International University’s Center for Leadership and Service (CLS). As part of (CLS) mission, we believe local days of service are essential to the enhancement of the local community. As part of program of the day, there will be a September 11th Day of Service Remembrance followed by project reflection. In addition we will be partnering with our campus/community organizations for instance ROTC program to do a presentation of colors and of the flag. As part of the Remembrance Recognition, a staff member who will was supposed to be on one of the flights that will speak about how not making the flight and the impact of September 11th has changed her life and guided her to a life of service and volunteerism. Additionally, a group of Alternative Breaks students volunteered with the Salvation Army March 2002 at Ground Zero will be recognized as well. The FIU Center for Leadership & Service will market and recruit volunteers from the campus and local communities to participate.

Proposed Budget:(Based on 200 participants)

Marketing & Promotion: $ 300.00

Volunteer Breakfast & Lunch: $ 1,600.00

Project Supplies: $ 800.00

Transportation: $ 1,300.00

T-Shirts: $ 1,000.00

TOTAL: $ 5,000.00

3 YEAR TOTAL: ($5,000 X 3 years) $15,000.00