2013-11-15 / Community

Planting Rockaway’s Future


With the help of PS/MS 183, AmeriCorps, NYC YouthWRAP and other volunteers, the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance’s Shore Corp interns planted 3,000 plugs of beach grasses, growing a natural barrier against future storms. With the help of PS/MS 183, AmeriCorps, NYC YouthWRAP and other volunteers, the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance’s Shore Corp interns planted 3,000 plugs of beach grasses, growing a natural barrier against future storms. The way the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance sees it, Superstorm Sandy’s destructive path served as a wake-up call for people around the world to their increasing susceptibility to the effects of powerful storms, however nature has the power to help protect.

Recently the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance’s Shore Corps interns capped off their season of environmental stewardship with a dune restoration event at Beach 49th Street in the Arverne East Dune Preserve.

With helping hands from PS/MS 183, AmeriCorps, NYC YouthWRAP, and their local volunteer base, RWA began a dune building project and planted 3,000 plugs of native beach grasses in the sand.

Blaze Jones-Yellin, RWA Program Manager, notes that “Nature-based solutions like this vegetated buffer will help absorb impacts of (future) storm surges along the coast. It’s time we start consciously working with nature’s solutions rather than against them.”

For the last three years, the Shore Corps interns have focused their stewardship efforts on the 150 Arverne street trees that are part of the Million- TreesNYC program.

Each week the high school interns learn something new about environmental stewardship in the context of the Rockaways, and have an opportunity to immediately apply the lessons in their community.

Jones-Yellin says RWA looks forward to further greening Rockaway’s streets and coastlines,

“Having healthy and plentiful street trees not only adds to the visual aesthetics of the community, they also contribute to positive mental health. On the beach, the presence of trees could save people’s homes.”

The Shore Corps Program is supported by a grant from the NYC DEC Urban Forestry Program. Special thanks to Capital One Bank for sponsoring the dune planting.

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