In the midst of these hot, sunny days it is easy to forget how far we have come since March! As many in Duxbury experienced firsthand, we were hit by several big storms over the winter, including three nor’easters in March. The impacts from these storms required an immediate response from the Duxbury Beach Reservation in order to reestablish access to Gurnet-Saquish and ensure the beach survived through the remaining weather leading up to the reprieve of summer.
The largest immediate alteration was to the back road, which was severely compromised and partially collapsing due to overwash and erosion. This, along with the presence of several feet of cobble and sand on portions of the road, made travel severely limited for several weeks. We greatly appreciate the patience and understanding shown by all who love visiting Duxbury Beach during the quiet days of winter and spring and especially the residents of Gurnet-Saquish. With everyone’s cooperation, the Reservation was able to focus on working with partners from sun up to sun down to repair the road.
In addition to the impacts to the back road, many of the pedestrian pathways and vehicle crossovers to the front beach were partially washed out and required extensive repairs. Teams worked hard to remove sand and cobble from the road and parking lots to be replaced on the pathways, crossovers, and dunes to reestablish access and rebuild a strong barrier beach.
Snow fence and permanent fence was washed away along several miles, being lost to the waves or distributed along the beach. A team led by DBR’s Joe Grady spent countless hours searching out and gathering salvageable materials or else removing debris to clean the beach. This clean-up work was continued by 150+ volunteers at a spring clean-up where over 3 tons of debris was removed!
After removing debris, rebuilding dunes, and repairing road and pathways, it was very important to help hold the replaced sand and cobble in place with new beach grass and woody plants. The extensive root systems as well as the stems and branches we see above ground are extremely useful in holding the dune together, particularly when strong winds and waves are in play. A group of amazing volunteers led by DBR’s Richie Poole and Joe Grady planted 40,000+ culms of beach grass and 8,000+ woody shrubs over the course of three planting days this spring.
Duxbury Beach is an amazing resource for all of us – whether you love shell-fishing, riding the waves, sailing in the bays behind the beach, or just taking in the view. At this time of year when we are all busy planning vacations and looking for the best spot for our beach towels, it is important to think back to how far we have come since March.
Duxbury Beach Reservation, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)3, donations are tax deductible and will help to rebuild our beach. http://www.duxburybeach.com/help/