The good news is that Hurricane Irma cleanup is proceeding rapidly. Some of this cleanup, however, is unnecessary and harmful to the marsh. There are now large piles of marsh wrack scooped up along U.S. Highway 17 that are being hauled away at public expense.
This detritus becomes the food from marsh cordgrass that is at the base of the food chain for coastal fisheries. Shrimp, oysters, clams, fish and crabs all depend on it.
While the human generated trash that floated in on the storm tide does need to be removed, the dead marsh grass does not. While some folks may consider it unsightly, it provides natural habitat and is an important resource that should be left in place for the benefit of us all. Removing and disposing of it is costly, time consuming, and unnecessary.