Proposed by: William Sciarappa

Presenter: Sciarappa, W., County Agent Il, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, Freehold, NJ 07728

On October 29, 2012, “Superstorm” Sandy severely damaged the shoreline of New Jersey; including many of these existing coastal rain gardens, sandy berms, planted dunes and artificial barriers. Besides the severe human and housing toll, the oceanic storm breached beaches, eroded roadways and contaminated over a dozen coastal lakes on the Jerseyshore. An unforeseen problem was the immense sand surge that clogged weirs and piping infrastructure leading to rampant flooding. To mitigate this new problem, a demonstrational pilot project of a much larger natural barrier called a Maritime Forest was constructed on a 1 acre oceanfront property. The protective design featured elevated terraces installed 50 meters from the ocean in front of a coastal lake bordering Ocean Grove and Bradley Beach, NJ. This ocean coastal woodland is just beyond the beach dune area but within range of the salt spray. Native trees, shrubs and herbaceous perennials were planted into a sandy loam soil amended with humus to create an integrated wetland ecosystem. Tree specimens included the deciduous red maple (Acer rubrum), grey birch (Betula populifolia), black cherry (Prunus serotina), sassafras (Sassafras albidum) and blackjack oak (Quercus marilandica) as well as the evergreens American holly (Ilex opaca), eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana) and pitch pine (Pinus rigida). Additionally, 8 species of understory shrubs were utilized in this test along with 7000+ plugs of perennial grasses and herbaceous plants. Long-term assessments establishment success,growth,durability and resiliency.

All Accepted Proposals