MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – ‘Please stay off the beach grass,’ one couldn’t imagine an easier rule to follow, yet every year the Superior Watershed Partnership finds itself having to replenish this essential plant, this guardian of our shoreline.

“Beach grass is a vital component of coastal restoration,” said Kathleen Henry, Superior Watershed Partnership. “Beach grass has long deep roots that pull sand together and prevent erosion.”

“It’s not like regular grass, regular grass is pretty flexible,” said Becca Fitch, Superior Watershed Partnership. “So when you step on it bounces back up right, but beach grass has kind of a thicker woody stock so when you step on it snaps and breaks.”

These amazing beaches are always in jeopardy, locked in a constant battle with the wind and the waves.

“More of an easterly direction component, that’s what really pushes the water on shore into McCarty’s Cove,” said Local 3 Chief Meteorologist Tom Kippen. “So this is where the beach grass does help out in avoiding beach erosion.”

This simple grass, this beautiful fringe to our shoreline, is our best defense against the forces of erosion, that threaten our beaches. That is why Local 3 partnered with the Superior Watershed Partnership, as part of their Nexstar Founders Day of Caring project. A company wide effort to give back to their local communities.

On Friday, the Local 3 staff spread out along McCarty’s Cove in Marquette to re-plant and restore the beach grass.

“This is like their anniversary and in honor of that they asked each station that they own across the nation to do a day of service,” said Local 3’s Rebecca Bartelme. “And so every year, Local 3 does something different. And this year we chose to partner with the Superior Watershed Partnership to plant beach grass along the Lake Superior shoreline, specifically at McCarty’s Cove.”

In all, Local 3 and Superior Watershed Partnership planted hundreds of beach grass plants along the shoreline, ensuring another season where these tiny sentinels stand guard over the beautiful beaches.