Native Plant Propagation
Post Hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017, many beaches around St. John experienced beach erosion, especially Cinnamon and Maho on the North shore. Eleanor Gibney, a local horticulturist, has partnered with the Virgin Islands National Park Service on a project funded by the Friends of Virgin Islands National Park to propagate salt resistant, native plant species that can be planted along the shorelines to increase stabilization and prevent erosion.
The first species being grown are the “Front Line” as Gibney describes them and will be seagrape and buttonwood. These native trees are salt tolerant and have far-ranging, sturdy root systems that help to keep the sand and soil together. In locations where there is space, there will be multi-tiered planting to fill in behind the seagrape and buttonwood. Planting began in January 2020.
"Salt resistant, native plant species that can be planted along the shorelines to increase stabilization and prevent erosion."