The Town of Truro on Cape Cod has experienced tremendous wind erosion during the past few years at one of their coastal beach access points, known as "town landings". Winter winds created a "shotgun blow out" that eroded 14 feet of sand from the beach end of the walkway and deposited it in a 14-foot mound at the top of the walkway. This created a 28' drop and climb for beach goers.
Safe Harbor partnered with Truro Department of Public Works, volunteering services to facilitate restoration permitting and planning. This was an unusual project because we needed to balance natural resources with public use. Before work could begin, the proposal was reviewed by private property abutters, the Beach Committee, Truro Conservation Commission, Department of Environmental Protection and the Natural Heritage and Endangered Species ProgramÂ (NHESP, under the MA Endangered Species Act).
The basic components of the project were pretty much like putting cookies back into the cookie jar. DPW Director Paul Morris moved eroded sand back to where it came from. DPW workers installed 500 feet of 4' sand fencing to outline a walkway designed to prevent future wind erosion. Safe Harbor workers installed 800 feet of innovative 24" sand control fencing along the restored dune line for short-term collection of wind-blown beach sand. DPW and Safe Harbor worked together to plant 5,000 stems of beach grass. This will provide a sustainable system to capture and hold wind blown sand at the dune line. A neighbor brought out homemade Scottish shortbread cookies.Â Safe Harbor planted another thousand stems of grass, reclaimed from the sand removal process, along the walkway. We advocate salvaging and reusing native vegetation from coastal projects. Long term control of public access, short-term sand fencing and long-term vegetation will create a sustainable system protecting natural resources and public access.