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Local Organizations Planting Thousands Of Beach Grass In Effort To Restore Shoreline

Nicole Barylski

On Wednesday, April 24, Cooperative Extension Marine Program, Peconic Land Trust and Peconic Estuary Program will set out to stabilize the beach and dune at the Widow's Hole Preserve in Greenport by planting 2,000 to 3,000 beach grasses. The public is invited to join in and assist with the efforts.

"We'll be having a workshop this Wednesday in partnership with Peconic Land Trust and Peconic Estuary Program and are seeking help from volunteers with planting beach grass. We propagated the native beach grass we'll be utilizing at our Southold facility," Kimberly Barbour, Cornell Cooperative Extension Marine Program Outreach Manager, relayed. "Participants will be guided by CCE Marine Program's Habitat Restoration Specialists, and learn about the importance of coastal habitat restoration"

The Beach Grass Planting will take place from 10 a.m. to  1 p.m.

"In the face of sea level rise, a question comes to mind as to how we are going to adapt and create resilient shorelines. The beach grass that volunteers will be planting is part of a 'Living Shoreline' restoration project," Lauren Scheer, Education and Outreach Coordinator, Peconic Estuary Program, noted. "By creating a natural environment at the water's edge, we produce habitat for wildlife, stabilize our shorelines with extensive root systems, and provide opportunity for filtration of nutrients and pollution before it enters our bays. This is a more beneficial approach than hardening our shorelines with bulkheads and seawalls that cause loss of habitat and change sand movement patterns that can ultimately worsen erosion."

Widow's Hole encompasses 2.4 acres situated on the southeastern corner of Fourth and Clark Streets. It was donated to the Trust in 2012 by ExxonMobil.

"The shoreline restoration at Widow's Hole Preserve is a multi-phased project that includes components intended to significantly increase the resiliency of the shoreline to erosion, while improving the overall habitat value and aesthetics of the property. This beachgrass planting is a critical component to the overall project, helping to stabilize the beach face and crest of the dune," Matt Swain, Director of Stewardship and Geographic Information Systems, Peconic Land Trust, noted.

For those unable to make it, you'll have other chances to lend a helping hand. "We'll have additional opportunities for involvement as this project proceeds," Barbour added. "We will be planting Spartina alterniflora, or marsh grass, at the site this summer and will hold similar planting workshops in support of this aspect of the project as well."

Those who plan on volunteering are asked to RSVP to KKennedy@peconiclandtrust.org .

Widow's Hole Preserve is located at 4th Street in Greenport. For more information, visit peconiclandtrust.org.

Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com where she focuses on lifestyle, nightlife, and mixology. She grew up in the Hamptons and currently resides in Water Mill. www.hamptons.com NicoleBarylski NicoleBarylski

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