Volunteers and Littoral Society staff came together on Saturday, April 23 to do routine maintenance on the restoration project at Slade Dale Nature Sanctuary in Point Pleasant, NJ by adding recycled Christmas trees to the existing branchbox breakwaters.
If you missed this opportunity but would still like to lend a hand, we will be adding around 200 more trees to three other breakwaters this year, and are currently coordinating with Point Pleasant and Lacey Township for tree delivery. The next Slade Dale volunteer day is set for Saturday, May 21 from 10 a.m. to Noon. Click here for more information.
On future work days we will also add coir logs and do some plantings along the shoreline. Later this year, a community science monitoring program will be launched.
As trees breakdown, new ones must be added to keep the project functioning properly. Sediment accumulation is occurring near the breakwaters, which is a positive sign.
The Sanctuary’s pine-oak forest, hardwood swamp, and salt marsh provide a space of protected wilderness in an otherwise heavily developed coastal area of NJ. The salt marsh at Slade Dale also helps protect uplands from flooding during storms, while providing nursery habitat for fish, and foraging habitat for birds such as osprey, egrets, and bald eagles.
The shoreline has eroded approximately 300 feet since 1930, and almost all low marsh habitat has been lost. Our restoration project began in 2018 with the installation branchbox breakwaters and cribbing that could be packed with recycled trees in order to reduce the force of water flowing through the area and help retain sediment near the shoreline.