Thanks to the hard work of the school students, staff and community members, there are more than 1,500 new culms of American beachgrass on the beach along Sadowski Parkway Waterfront Park in Perth Amboy, NJ. The work took place on Thursday, April 14, with students from Perth Amboy’s Academy of Urban Leadership Charter School (AULCS) joining the Littoral Society along the beach at the end of 2nd street.
Part of the Littoral Society’s Grasses in Classes program, the planting marked the end of a program partnership that began in 2019 with the intent of shoring up the town’s dunes while empowering students and others from the community to increase their knowledge of coastal resiliency. The Grasses in Classes program highlights the unmet need to help improve neglected or ignored beachfronts that can help protect coastal municipalities from the effects of climate change.
The program in Perth Amboy started with an assembly for over 150 students, where they learned about the role that dunes play in protecting coastlines, the importance of native beachgrasses such as American beachgrass, and the impact that non-native species (otherwise known as invasive species) on dune environments in New Jersey.
During the in-class presentation, students discussed where they would be planting and how that would help better protect their community from things like storm surge. Each student received a culm of beachgrass, that they planted in a cup with sand and peat moss, then cared for up until the planting date.
The planting site was a vulnerable part of the beach, with bare spots on the dunes., Hopes are the new grass will root deep into the sand, holding together and helping replenish the dunes along the municipality’s southern shoreline.
Lean more about the Littoral Society’s Grasses in Classes program and how you can bring it to your school