LBI Towns to Receive Dune Grass From County

Oct 05, 2016

Ocean County will deliver dune grass to Long Beach Island municipalities this Friday, Oct. 7.

In Long Beach Township, the dune grass will be available for residents to pick up at the public works yard – at 7910 Long Beach Blvd. in Beach Haven Crest – during regular weekday operating hours; on weekends from 7 a.m. to noon; and on Columbus Day, Oct. 10, from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

According to Angela C. Andersen, township sustainability coordinator, a number of residents are involved in dune planting efforts, in line with the municipality’s Dune Revegetation Project.

“In the wake of Hurricane Sandy the dune system in Long Beach Township was destroyed,” the project site, at longbeachtownship.com/dunerevegetationproject.html, reads. “In our effort to restore and rebuild our community, Long Beach Township established the Dune Revegetation Project.” To date the program has purchased and distributed more than 5,000 plants, including American beach grass, bayberry, rugosa rose and beach plum to help restore the dunes, which, the site notes, “are our first line of defense against storms.”

Andersen met recently with members of various taxpayer groups from within the township to discuss the dunes. Lin Van Name, a member of the Beach Haven Green Team, also attended to explain her borough’s ongoing resident-driven revegetation program, including what they plant and how their efforts are funded.

Beach Haven will be receiving 19,500 plants, according to Jackie Fife of the public works department. Residents can pick up the dune grass anytime at Van Name’s home, located at 815 North Atlantic Ave. Any pointy stick, such as an umbrella pole, can be used to help with planting, though planting sticks will also be available for use through Van Name, who would like them to be returned.

Homeowners in Holgate are now undertaking a comprehensive planting at a few beach entrances in that southernmost section of the municipality, said Andersen. Holgate Taxpayers Assocation President Dan Macone, his wife, Kathy Macone, and a committee of other Holgate residents “had a landscape architect on hand funded through Save Barnegat Bay – they got a grant from Watershed Institute to do a stewardship project and Holgate is it – and they have a separate donation specified on their Holgate Taxpayer Association membership form to fund plant purchase.”

Pat Prout from the Brant Beach Homeowners Association also attended the recent dune meeting, and is very interested in planting, as is Peahala Park resident Joe Tansey, who has been rallying his neighborhood to carry out revegetation. The corrider that includes Peahala Park – previously covered by the now-defunct LBT10 taxpayer group –  does not have an organized taxpayers association like all the other LBT neighborhoods, Andersen pointed out, “but residents are galvanizing to become stewards in the wake of replenishment and Army Corps beach grass installation.”

Macone and Van Name organized to share a delivery of shrubs from Clemenson’s Nursery last week, and discussed with Andersen “how they can source some shrubs from a few different growers together to be resourceful.”

Andersen emphasized the importance of this local stewardship, as, she explained, “I have done shrub plantings in the past, and without people to nurture them until they are settled in (watering them, for example, for about a year), they have a low success rate.”

Visit longbeachtownship.com/dunerevegetationproject.html for instructions on how and where to plant the dune grass – based on locations the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is planning to vegetate once the federal beachfill project is completed in the municipality – and for tips on successful planting.

For more information on the Long Beach Township Dune Revegetation Project, contact Andersen at andersen@longbeachtownship.com or 609-361-6641.

Members of Boy Scout Troop 44 of Pennington will be planting dune grass and camping out overnight on the beach in Surf City on Oct. 22. The troop helps plant dune grass between the 17th and 19th street beaches every October, said Grace Pitner, borough administrative assistant. One of the troop’s leaders who has a home in that area provides a place for the kids to eat.

Other groups typically help with the town’s planting as well, Pitner noted.

“We don’t have one set date like Ship Bottom does where they’re going to do a massive planting,” she said.

Local residents interested in planting dune grass on their street can contact borough hall to arrange for pick up at the public works yard. The town is receiving 14,600 plants, which will be available until they run out, Pitner stated.

“As long as we have it, they’ll be able to call. And obviously we have a lot,” she said. “The planting season is pretty much into December because you plant it when the plant is dormant.”

In case of insufficient rain, members of the public works department will water the plants to ensure proper growth, noted Pitner.

— Juliet Kaszas-Hoch and Kelley Anne Essinger

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