Duxbury Beach Reservation strives to be a leader in developing innovative beach management techniques. Information collected during the course of dune re-nourishment projects, implementation of new fencing techniques, projected species management, and more will hopefully benefit beach management projects statewide, particularly in the face of challenges related to climate change impacts. With the multitude of projects that occur annually on Duxbury Beach there are many opportunities to learn more about the coast we love. Take a look below for some of the ways Duxbury Beach Reservation is diving in to the Science of the Season!
Battle of the Roses
Thanks to the careful planting work this April by volunteers led by DBR’s Joe Grady and Richie Poole, we have set up a beach rose study on the beach. We will make a thorough comparison of two beach rose species: the non-native but traditionally used Rosa rugosa and the native Rosa virginiana. There has been discussion amongst scientists and regulators regarding the risk of planting a non-native rose on the beach, however, there is no denying how it flourishes and helps hold Duxbury Beach and many other beaches together! Our plan is collect information on the success of the two plants as well as any invasive tendencies.
Eyes on the Beach
The Chick Monitors are out in force on Duxbury Beach, which means many sets of eyes! The monitors are armed with new field datasheets this season and they are very busy collecting a ton of data to contribute to management and conservation efforts. With this data we are excited to learn more about the birds that call Duxbury Beach home in the summer: How much space are the chicks using on the beach? Where and how long are road crossings? Which parts of the beach are Least Terns using? And much more!
We are also setting up data entry sessions so this information is available for analysis and sharing. As one of the larger sites for Piping Plover nesting in the state, there are many challenges related to protected species nesting that have and will come up in relation to managing recreation and implementing beach maintenance projects. The Reservation plans to use the data collected throughout the season to ensure management is timely and effective and to help plan for the future.
Building on a Legacy
In an effort to build upon the extensive work done by the Reservation on artificial Piping Plover nesting habitat, the DBR’s Reservation Coordinator, Brynna McGlathery, applied for and received Scott Melvin Memorial Grant funding to do additional data collection at the habitat areas. Brynna is performing vegetation surveys and nesting activity surveys to determine encroachment following habitat construction and maintenance, plover preference, and nesting success in artificial habitats. We hope to learn more about the effectiveness of habitat enhancement so we can continue efforts to lessen the intersection of recreation and conservation.