Dune Grass Planting
With Wenley Ferguson, Director of Habitat Restoration, and Dave Prescott, South County Coastkeeper
When wind and foot traffic pose a challenge to the preservation of our coastal dunes, beach grass is the answer. Also called American beach grass, this plant can grow in an arid environment, and has a root system that extends up to 3 feet! The grass captures and traps fine wind-blown sand and helps create dunes. Dune fencing can also be installed as a first step in stabilizing sand prior to dune grass becoming established. Dunes provide habitat for other drought-tolerant plants and piping plovers and least terns that nest near the protection of dunes. Even small dunes can help protect low lying inland areas from flooding during coastal storms or large tide events.
In the below video, Wenley Ferguson, Save The Bay’s director of habitat restoration, and Dave Prescott, our South County Coastkeeper, explain the properties of dune grass and why dunes are important to our beaches. Our team has been working with the Weekapaug Fire District, the Weekapaug Foundation for Conservation and the Coastal Resources Management Council to restore the dunes at Fenway Beach in Westerly.