HOLMES BEACH, Fla. (WFLA) — Driving along Holmes Beach in Manatee County, you’ll see plenty of sea oats.
Stephanie Molly was one of dozens of volunteers who came out Saturday morning to plant a total of 1,000 sea oats.
“I love this beach,” she said. “Since I moved to Florida, I moved here 17 years ago. I wanted to do something to make it better.”
One scoop at a time, she shoveled out six inches worth of sand.
She planted the sea oats, an extremely valuable plant that serves as one of Florida’s biggest protections between the ocean and homes.
“They did an absolutely phenomenal job during this last hurricane, and they kept the flooding down within the island, but they got damaged,” said Jennifer Hoffman, Keep Manatee Beautiful Executive Director. “So it’s our job to go out, replenish them, and make sure they’re there for the next time so they can work for us again.”
Even Holmes Beach Police Chief William Tokajer lent a helping hand, saying it’s important for people to know he stands with them.
“It just shows that we’re part of them,” he explained. “We’re with them.”
“We’re out here for them,” he continued. “It’s not just that we’re here patrolling the street, we’re out here being a part of the community.”
One thousand plants later, the properties and roadways along Manatee County’s shore are more prepared for the next storm.