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DNREC's 31st Annual Beach Grass
As public health officials continue to monitor and respond to the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control is focused on taking a proactive and preventative approach to keep our community safe.
Governor John Carney has issued a State of Emergency declaration to help prepare for the spread of this disease. All state offices, parks and education centers remain open during normal operating hours at this time, but we are implementing social distancing measures.
If you have any questions or wish to be put on the email list to receive more information about the next beach grass planting, please email Jennifer Pongratz.
Volunteers are the backbone of Delaware's shoreline stabilization. Every spring since 1990, many dedicated volunteers have stabilized Delaware's sand dunes by planting more than 5 million stems of Cape American beachgrass along ocean and bay beaches.
Sand dunes are more than beautiful! Sand dunes provide protection against damaging coastal storms by absorbing wave energy. Sand dunes offer protection by acting as major sand storage areas which replenish sand to eroded beaches during storm events. Without sand dunes, storm waves rush inland and flood properties.
Dunes are unstable - subject to the ravages of wind and water. Beachgrass helps build and stabilize dunes. Blades of grass help trap wind blown sand which can create new dunes and expland existing dunes.
To promote new dune growth and to help protect inland properties from the ravages of flood waters, we must limit – and sometimes prohibit –people and vehicles from crossing dunes in all but designated areas. Especially as applies to beachgrass, which has thick, brittle stalks that can easily be broken and destroyed by pedestrian or vehicular traffic.
Please help conserve Delaware's beaches by telling friends and family about the importance of beachgrass, and reminding them to stay off of the dunes.
If you have questions about beach grass planting, or would like additional information about it, please call 302-739-9921 or email your questions to Jennifer Pongratz.
Also, please visit: Dune Protection and Improvement and Barrier Island/Sand Cycle to learn more about beach and dune preservation.
Photos by Jennifer Wheatley