You may have noticed the 250 Christmas trees along a major part of Russian Beach, or read about it in the Stratford Star. The trees were delivered by the Town of Stratford Public Works to help us build sand dunes to protect the beach from further erosion. This is an idea that has worked with varying success on Long Island, the Jersey Shore, the Carolinas, and Florida; The New York Times, New York Magazine, and National Public Radio have recently reported on this experiment. An environmental engineer from Connecticut's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is an advocate for this method, and recommends it particularly where there is a vertical drop in the sand, especially if that drop lies at least five feet above the high tide mark. We more or less have this condition in over 600 feet of our waterfront. That's why we put the trees where they are, and not over the entire length of beach.
Over two weekends in January, 50 volunteers transported them to the beach and secured them with wooden stakes and natural twine. We staked them so that storm tides would be more likely to push the trees inland rather than pull them out to sea. The first storm that came a week later pushed about 100 trees inland; four volunteers were able to reposition them in a single hour. Interestingly, a noticeable increase in the sand has begun covering the trees. Only time will tell if we have major improvement by spring or summer. Some communities add trees every year, and as long as the town offers and delivers the trees, we would consider doing that.
The volunteers: Tomsheck Family, Tom Halverson, Christine Doolan, Jeff Trombley, Billie Lauricelli , Tom Ferrara, Hans Drenkard, Diane Drenkard, Vince Griffin, Christine Griffin, Manny Psaltis, John Upton, Jack Ferrara, Boy Scout Troop 72, Don Gagnon, Hugh Welch, Tom Klingler, Dave Buzzanca, Jake Sullivan, John Guglielmoni, Tyler Heffern,Devan Laurore, Avery Eckel, Diane Krumrey, John Hewitt,Tom Gerrity, Peter Brawley, Peter Julian, Colleen Hawkins,Brendan Hawkins, Lisa Ferrara, Tory Kelly, Jason Kelly, Brian Kelly, Michael Santa, Charles Lautier, Rich Diedrichsen, Jessica Gerrity and her fiancé. If we missed anyone, we apologize.