Thursday, September 24, 2009

Coastal Cleanup and Guarding The Wild Beach Amaranth

Coastal Clean Up Day ended up as " She Who Guards Endangered Species Plants".  
 Ah-Ha MOMENT of my life: there I am sitting on a dune, guarding a Federally Endangered Plant, from Coastal Clean Up volunteers..... the Wild Beach Amaranth plant once blue-ish green now yellowing, having been swamped by the past week's Nor' Easter high tides, no bigger than my thumb, utters to me: 
Quite the moment.  Someone has to do it?  It is me. As it is a Federally Mandated Protected Species, located in a Federally Protected Area.
This gets better.  During a past Dune Survey, with two paid Professionals and another volunteer, I was the one that found the diminutive gem!
After Coastal Clean Up Day I was told, "It is the only one remaining in Delaware"!
( Not to worry as this is an annual..... so last remaining plant for the season ).
Oh, and the story gets even better.
When I went to locate and mark my tiny plant prisoner, to protect her from forthcoming enthusiastic Girl Scouts...... momentarily I could not find her!!!
 Had I stepped on her???  My PANIC was beyond HUGE!!!!!!
Would I have to report to DE's Fish and Wildlife I had killed her off ?
If I had, would I be fired from my Volunteer position: FIRED Dune Survey Wanderer Finder of Tiny-Tiny Endangered Species Plants??????
I very slowly, very carefully turned around: looked DOWN, and there she was!!!!!!
I marked the sucker with a brick and then hailed a DNREC vehicle outta there! 
It was time to pee and go to Hawk Watch!
PS: It is no fun finding a spot to pee-pee on the CHSP Dunes!  Like turn around and the Radio Tower can see you...... or the Lewes Ferry...... or the Hawk Watch volunteers!

Beach Blessings,

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