Your Christmas tree will help build much needed dunes in Ortley Beach

     Island Beach State Park - April 2013: In January, volunteers placed thousands of discarded Christmas trees in trenches to help reestablish dunes that were destroyed during Superstorm Sandy. (Sandy Levine/for NewsWorks)

    Island Beach State Park - April 2013: In January, volunteers placed thousands of discarded Christmas trees in trenches to help reestablish dunes that were destroyed during Superstorm Sandy. (Sandy Levine/for NewsWorks)

    Toms River officials want you to consider donating your Christmas tree to a good cause in Ortley Beach, where Hurricane Sandy’s flood waters had unfettered access to the streets. 

    Through February 1, the township is accepting Christmas trees behind the fence at the Lord House lifeguard station (between 3rd and 4th Avenue) in Ortley Beach.

    “These trees will then be placed on the dunes by Township personnel in order to promote dune growth,” a release says. “Do not place trees directly on the beach.”

    Trees must be in a natural state without any ornamentation.

    In 2013, many communities accepted discarded Christmas trees to help rebuild protective dune systems that were damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Sandy’s storm surge.

    The mechanics are simple: functioning like snow fencing, blowing sand gets trapped in the trees, helping to naturally grow dunes.

    In Island Beach State Park, a state official said the effort was a success. 

    “Within two weeks most of the trees were completely covered with wind-blown sand,” Ray Bukowski, then manager of Island Beach State Park, told NewsWorks in April 2013. “So we went ahead and put (dune) fencing in front of the trees, and we’ve started to build that profile, and in a couple of months we’ve come up three and a half to four feet in some of the most impacted areas of the park.”

    “So it’s really significant, a real positive.”

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