Friday, December 26, 2008

Saving Trees for Dunes Day

You learn something new every day. For instance, up until today I didn’t know that we are now preserving sand dunes on our barrier islands with used Christmas trees.

Odd but true as revealed in this Houston Chronicle piece.
“For more than two decades, volunteers have staked down Christmas trees in a long horizontal line, trunk to trunk and crown to crown. After a few weeks, blown sand collects around the trees, anchoring them to the area and beginning the sand dune process. It's a fairly common practice along American coastlines.”
In neighboring Brazoria County, it seems that while Hurricane Ike was blowing my backyard fence over, it was also ripping up the Christmas tree-anchored sand dunes on Quintana Beach.

The sand dunes are a barrier islands natural line of defense against wave erosion, something that has become a problem in the past few decades, and something that will be of increased concern as ice melts and sea level rises.

They need 1000 trees to anchor one mile of beach, and they have 21 miles of beach dunes to build. So you do the math. The paltry 263 orphan trees that WalMart didn’t sell so were donated to the “Dunes Day” project won’t make a dent in the effort.

It will again, be up to individuals with the spirit of public service to come up with the difference.

Want to help out? After your tree comes down in the next week, take it down to Pearland and drop it off at the Pearland Recycling Center at 5800 Magnolia in Pearland. Best to call them for directions, though. The center is new and not reliable yet on Google Maps and Mapquest.

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