Thursday, May 30, 2013

Dune Building with Slats and Beachgrass on Cape Cod

24" high sand fencing had been successful in stabilizing
and collectingsand on small scale, Bayside restoration projects.
Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management - If you are looking for some defense against the winds, waves, and flooding that continuously batter and eat away your coastal property, American beachgrass (Ammophila breviligulata) is your plant. This hardy, salt-tolerant, native grass has strong, fast-growing underground rhizomes (root-like underground stems). The rhizomes spread beneath the sand and give rise to many new plants, helping to stabilize sands. Beachgrass also tolerates salt spray and occasional wave overwash, drying winds, low nutrients, heat, and excessive sunlight, and grows well in sandy soils, making it ideal for coastal use. But maybe the best thing about beachgrass is that it helps to develop, build, and maintain dunes.

This is an important image, taken the second week of December 2010,
illustrating integration of 24 inch collection fencing with zig-zagged
pedestrian access pathway. Once the system was in place, we waited
for a storm. (Barrier Beach Dune Restoration, Cape Cod, Massachusetts)
We had received reports that our fending was "gone," an upsetting thought.
As I walked up the pathway I had to agree the fencing appeared to be gone
...but then I noticed the fending only seemed to be gone, because it was
actuallyburied beneath two feet of collected sand... our system worked
We randomly inserted the single slats into the sand, spacing them 8-10" apart
We were stunned at the results of this random experiment.
Once we had restored enough geomass profile to thwart over-wash,
we set up community beach grass planting events to begin the
transition to a sustainable system. Some elevations had
increased by 12 feet in a period of 14 months
Barrier Dune Restoration Develops Innovative Strategy -

Thank you to all who contributed to this year's Annual Beach Grass Planting! -

The Shoreline and Waterway Management Section would like to thank the many volunteers who came out on March 23, 2013 to plant Delaware's coastal dunes with Cape American Beach Grass. We would also like to thank for their support of the annual beach grass planting the Delaware Mobile Surf Fisherman, the Indian River Inlet Life Saving Station, the Children's Beach House, Pepsi Co., Masley Enterprises, Inc., Giant Foods, Safeway, Outdoors Delmarva and Delaware State Parks.

Also, please visit: ◼ Dune Protection and Improvement and ◼ Barrier Island/Sand Cycle to learn more about beach and dune preservation.

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