Sea Oats

Walter Schmid schmid at qm.c-plant.siu.edu
Thu Sep 15 10:34:30 EST 1994


Subject:    RE>Sea Oats
Bob Jackson asks:
"I don't know if this really belongs here, as I don't read this Newsgroup 
regularly, but here goes...
Last winter I was on vacation in the Florida Keys, and I saw a sign on 
the side of the road which read "It is unlawful to pick the sea oats".
What is a Sea Oat, and why is it unlawful to pick them?  Thanks..."

I believe that the answer is that this is a plant species which colonizes
sand dunes and by its presence helps to protect the sand dunes from being
eroded.
Picking the sea oats leads to their disappearance and subsequently the
disappearance of the dune as well. 
I think that's why you don't pick the sea oats. 
Why it is unlawful is simply that too many people have picked too many sea
oats and too much dune erosion is believed to have resulted. 

W.E.Schmid
Plant Biology 
SIUC
Carbondale, Ill







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