For the past several years, the Surfrider Foundation has spearheaded a cheap and resourceful way to help rebuild our area dunes: recycled Christmas trees. On Saturday, January 28, The Surfrider Foundation, a nonprofit environmental organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world’s oceans, waves and beaches, is coordinating with the town of Carolina Beach and a slew of volunteers to partake in the fourth annual dune rebuilding program using the discarded trees.
Built either by wind or water flow, our beaches’ sculptured sand dunes are the epitome of coastal beauty. But they have a purpose that goes beyond the aesthetic. They provide much needed protection to ocean front property from waves churned up in storms. Our dunes are also natural habitats for sea turtles, nesting birds, and native vegetation.
After this year’s Hurricane Matthew, some of our beaches experienced moderate erosion. The hammering waves of the storm pulled sand away from the beaches and destroyed dunes. By forming a sand-like fence with the used Christmas trees, the sand will fill back in over the trees, rebuilding the diminished dunes. And hopefully by Spring, the natural ecosystem will be restored, just in time for the summer season.
The Surfrider Foundation encourages the community to volunteer alongside them on the 28th to place the trees on the dunes. This family-friendly event begins at 10:00 am. Volunteers are asked to meet at the Periwinkle public beach access. Look for the Surfrider tent and check in there. Public parking is available at Seaoats Lane just 2 blocks North of the access. Volunteers are asked to bring a shovel, hammer, tape measure, and scissors.
The town of Carolina Beach will provide free Christmas tree removal every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, Jan. 9 through Jan. 30. If you’d like your tree to help grow the dunes, have it out by the curb on Jan. 27 and remove all decorations and lighting. For more information, visit the Cape Fear Surfrider Facebook page here.