November 07 2016

Volunteers join forces to rock dune restoration in the Rockaways

by Jason Camhi, Executive Committee member with the Surfrider Foundation NYC Chapter

In recognition of the 4th anniversary of Superstorm Sandy's devastating impact and ongoing recovery efforts, volunteers from the Surfrider Foundation NYC Chapter joined forces with the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance's (RWA) Shore Corps to plant a variety of trees and bushes around some of the dunes near the 59th Street stretch of Rockaway Beach. RWA is a community-based organization in the Rockaways that advocates for sustainable development and community building and seeks to empower residents. The Shore Corps is their youth internship program, and its members frequently come out in support of the chapter's beach clean-ups and other events in the Rockaways.

Volunteers planted a mix of beach roses, beach plum trees and beach berries, along with milkweed plants to attract and support butterfly populations. In all the group planted around 125 trees and bushes as part of ongoing dune replenishment efforts. Maintaining strong, healthy dunes are a key component to protecting our shorelines from erosion and storm surge, and trees and shrubs help that process. The program was also supported by Patagonia, the National Fish and Wildlife Association and NYC Audubon.

After the planting, Jason Camhi, the Surfrider Foundation NYC Chapter's Executive Committee member and the chapter's Ocean Friendly Gardens Program (OFG) lead, gave the group a presentation on the OFG Program and how people and businesses can apply the principles of CPR - Conservation, Permeability and Retention on their own. Jason summed up the day as "a total success. Rockaway Beach is our home break, and we love doing what we can to contribute to the larger community. Surfrider Foundation volunteers have helped with Superstorm Sandy recovery efforts since the beginning, and working with RWA and the Shore Corps to continue that process helps further our goals of clean oceans, waves and beaches."

"It was great to collaborate with an internationally recognized organization like the Surfrider Foundation on a local dune planting," said Juli Schroeger, RWA's Program Coordinator. "Forming partnerships with groups that share our mission and passions will only make our stewardship and advocacy programs in the Rockaways stronger." 

Thank you to RWA and all the volunteers who came out to help!