Christmas trees, following their use over the holiday season, are being put to good use in restoring sand dunes on Carolina Beach in North Carolina.
Cape Fear Surfrider Foundation is teaming up with the town of Carolina Beach to offer a unique and earth-friendly way to dispose of old Christmas trees to protect the shoreline.
For the fifth year running, the Surfrider Foundation will host the Christmas Tree Recycling & Dune Restoration Project at Carolina Beach on Saturday 20 January. The yearly project helps to rebuild natural habitat, protect ocean front property, and divert the old trees from the landfill. It also helps people learn about the importance of beach erosion and dune structures.
Volunteers take dozens of thrown out trees and place them in areas with little to no dunes left, ensuring the do not affect nesting sea turtles and other wildlife. Old Christmas trees are placed on the edge of the dunes and staked down. Over time, the wind covers the trees in sand, which helps rebuild the dunes.
Cape Fear Surfrider Foundation are hoping to lay down more than 100 Christmas trees at this year’s event, and are urging more volunteers to come down to the event with old Christmas trees.
Ethan Crouch of the Cape Fear Surfrider Foundation: “We [Cape Fear Surfrider Foundation] are constantly seeing erosion from storms, hurricanes, and that dune is our front line of defense against storm surges and sea-level rise.
“What happens is those trees then collect sand that blows down the beach throughout the year, burying the Christmas trees naturally by collecting their own sand particles which grows the frontal edge of our dune system.
“I feel an obligation to protect those resources that have given me so much pleasure in my life. So this is a small way that I feel like I, as well as Surfrider and the greater community, can give back to the resources that have found us all so much pleasure.”
For more information about Cape Fear Surfrider Foundation’s Christmas Tree Recycling & Dune Restoration Project, click here
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea