Volunteers Gearing Up for Dune Grass Planting in Harvey Cedars

Sep 21, 2016
File Photo by: Jack Reynolds

A Harvey Cedars resident is leading a dune grass planting effort early next month as part of a corporation’s commitment to community activities.

Michael Fath said he recruited a group of volunteers from Sanofi Genzyme, a Bridgewater-based pharmaceutical company where he is a clinical science associate. Fath said the planting will take place Tuesday, Oct. 11, from 8 a.m. to noon along the beaches between 78th and 80th streets. 

“My parents have owned a home in Harvey Cedars for nearly 50 years,” said Fath. “I wanted to do something to help the town, and I thought doing dune grass planting would be good to do because we have to keep our dunes strong.”  

Fath said the volunteers will work with the Harvey Cedars Public Works Department, which will supply dowels and other materials.

Diana Stott, public works secretary, said the dune grass is given to the borough at no charge through the county.

“They usually arrive on the Friday before Columbus Day,” she said. 

Borough Clerk Daina Dale said the county package normally consists of 2,500 plants.

“The borough will give the dune grass to volunteer groups on a first-come, first-serve basis,” she said. “Very often, we’ve had Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops do the planting. If we have any grass left over after the volunteer groups do the planting, individuals are welcome to stop by and pick some up.” 

Last fall, Ocean County distributed 220,000 plants to Long Beach Island. Because dune grass is a cool season plant, the best planting times are in October through early winter. 

“These plants will help stabilize the beach and dune system and protect the shoreline from coastal storms,” said Freeholder Gerry P. Little. He added, “I am proud to continue this program that was started under the late James J. Mancini, who served as freeholder and the longtime mayor of Long Beach Township. Our coastline is one of our greatest assets, and the dune plantings are a natural and effective way to protect it.”  —E.E.

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