On Saturday, April 24, a group of hardy volunteers waded into the cold waters of Beaverdam Creek to place recycled Christmas trees between cribbing, where they will help reverse erosion that has been eating away at the shoreline of Slade Dale Nature Preserve for a century. The structures will help slow water flowing through the eroded area and capture sediment carried by the current.
Located in New Jersey's Point Pleasant Borough, 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 helps protect uplands from flooding during storms. It also provides 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.
Sometimes referred to as nature-based, green, or soft shorelines, living shorelines use natural materials such as plants, sand, or rock to stabilize the shoreline, reduce erosion, and provide valuable habitat. They also tend to be far less expensive to construct and maintain than hard structures. Living shorelines grow over time.
The Littoral Society continues to conduct biological monitoring around the site to help determine how the living shoreline at Slade Dale is affecting animal life.