Duxbury Beach Reservation Begins Dune Restoration Project Construction

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Posted December 20, 2018

Duxbury Beach Reservation has begun construction of a dune restoration project between the first and second crossovers on the east and west sides of the oceanside dune on Duxbury Beach.

This portion of the beach is one of the narrowest sections of the barrier beach and suffers from increased wave energy during normal and storm conditions. Restoration work will strengthen the entire barrier beach by adding sand to a sediment-starved system and protecting the beach from breaching in this area.

With finalized plans in place, the Reservation is working with SumCo Eco Contracting and environmental engineering firm, Woods Hole Group, to implement the project. Preparatory work began on the site on Dec. 12 to fix the road between Blakeman’s and the Resident Parking Lot so that machinery and trucks of sand can access the beach beginning Dec. 17.

Other prep work includes removing the snow fencing and wooden posts along the front of the oceanside dune, fixing parts of the road north of the bridge, and removing the electronic sticker system at the crossovers. The next step will be to furnish and place sand to raise and widen the entire dune in this area. Once sand is placed, fencing and beach grass will be reestablished to protect and strengthen the dune.

Along with the dune work, the first and second crossovers will also be raised to ensure continuity with the new dune elevation. This is important so as not to create a wind tunnel or low point for water to breach through.

The project will require the cooperation of Marshfield, Duxbury and Plymouth residents as well as any visitors to Duxbury Beach and Gurnet and Saquish. The back road and crossovers of Duxbury Beach may be temporarily closed or have delayed access dependent on work being performed. This will limit access to the beach for permit holders and travel to Gurnet and Saquish. It is vital that work crews are able to work quickly and efficiently as all construction must cease on the beach by April 1 to ensure compliance with regulations protecting nesting shorebirds.

The project has been designed to provide erosion control, buffer storm surge, and protect critical habitat for wildlife. It represents a portion of the resilience work needed and is a step towards implementing a larger-scale dune nourishment project that will provide longer term health and resilience to the beach. This project and nourishment efforts in the future will bolster the ability of Duxbury Beach to protect the communities behind it, particularly in the face of sea level rise and increased storm impacts.

Although some of the added sand will be eroded during storms, this means that the added sand is doing its job. When the dune material moves from where it is originally placed, it continues to add critical protection to the overall system and builds the health of the barrier beach.

Source: Plymouth Wicked Local