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Entries in seaside (3)

Tuesday
May052015

The Truth about Ecological Restoration

Currently, climate change and its validity is a hot debate in this country, but many people are seeing the effects first hand and have no doubt.  The world’s top scientists agree that tides are rising, land is eroding faster, rivers run with heavy metals, and oceans have become our wastebasket.  Climate change is an unstoppable natural process, but we can create a more resilient nation through the Restoration, Reclamation, and Rehabilitation of the landscape. 

This seaside property was restored to withstand the ever changing climate.When you read our blogs here on Outdoor Spaces, we talk about anything and everything landscape.  You might be thinking about all your trees, shrubs and flowers on your property, but the truth is that the term landscape holds a deeper meaning.  Landscapes are far more than the scenery in your backyard, or your neighbor’s gorgeous Crape Myrtle, because landscapes are 3 dimensional compositions of earth, water and atmosphere.  The landscape is our home to share with nature and it is our duty to ensure its healthy longevity.

Globalization in the past decade has been a bitter sweet part of our lives.  We live in a post-industrial society and in the midst of a technological revolution.  Communications are being optimized and almost everyone is carrying a small computer in their front pocket.  Now, more than ever, we can see the evolution of technology manifest within our lifetime.   As a result of this globalization and urbanization, mankind has put an unprecedented amount of stress on the environment.  For example, many rivers have become engineered channels of concrete, and sometimes piped underground, which has reduced their ability to provide ecosystem services.  Ecosystem services are the environmental benefits associated with a functional ecosystem.  This channelization of rivers has increased the number of people living in flood zones.  When a storm surge happens, the capacity of the engineered concrete channel is exceeded, resulting in destruction of the local community.  A solution is to restore the stream to a more naturalistic meandering form, with tidal buffers and constructed wetlands.  This doesn’t mean we abandon engineering.  In fact, environmental engineers can calculate what it takes to build a restored river ecosystem just like an engineered concrete channel.

This residential woodland path creates a space for humans and wildlife to thrive and live in harmony.After Hurricane Sandy, Long Islanders were faced with restoration projects both large and small.  Houses, beaches, canals, streams and properties needed to be repaired and updated to withstand a greater force of nature.  Ecological restoration provides added benefits in addition to an improved aesthetic.  Projects of any scale can restore habitat for flora/fauna, and this directly influences your life.  Some people may think they are isolated from nature in their urban and suburban world, but the truth is quite the opposite.  Humans are just as important for a functional ecological web of life as plants and animals.  When we truly become stewards of the land, we can create a healthy and thriving landscape for all.  Goldberg and Rodler has design experts who are passionate and dedicated to the sustainable environment.  Give us a call if you would like to create a sustainable landscape, and a Goldberg and Rodler designer can help bring your vision into reality. 

Written by, Nick Onesto 

Friday
Apr172015

BEACH RESTORATION: Where did all of the sand go?

Here on Long Island, our precious coastline is a big part of our pride and recreation, weather it’s the scenic beauty of the North Shore bluffs or the pristine sand coast of the South Shore beaches and bays. We've got it all. However, our shores are constantly under attack with Nor’easters, hurricanes, tidal surges or even bad wind storms. During these storms, immense power rips away at the bluffs, sand dunes and beaches, compromising our land and homes.

Beach restoration has been a hot topic for many of our communities close to the water. I will address two properties, one on the North Fork and one on a South Shore Bay. Both had been battered with hurricane Sandy, with pre and post Nor’easters.

NORTH SHORE BLUFF:

This property sits high on a bluff which has previously suffered from numerous storms and erosion. Past attempts were made to stabilize the bluff without success. For this property the DEC approved a boulder embankment to stabilize the bottom of the bluff but the slope was still eroding from the top down. We were brought in to stabilize the slope with a network of jute netting and native vegetation, consisting of American Beach Grass, Rugosa Rose, Beach Plum and Bayberry to reflect the existing plants on the adjoining embankment. Within one year the roots took hold, the natural indigenous habitat was restored and the slope is on its way to a full recovery. This has held up well in the past two Nor’easters with no erosion or slippage of the slope.

North Shore Bluff before and after restoration.

 

 

SOUTH SHORE BAY:

On this property we have a different scenario with the lower elevation and less slope to the shoreline. This south shore property was hit hard with tidal surges from past storms. A previous homeowner had cleared and planted a lawn along the shoreline which did not hold up well in the aftermath of these storms. To restore this eroded area we added a sand and soil mix with jute matting and some boulders to strengthen the area. The DEC does not permit a retaining wall of any sort so we had to slope the area gently and re vegetate. We added American Beach Grass, Bayberry and White Potentilla which fare well with this deer inundated area. The existing vegetation on either side of the eroded area was kept in a natural vegetated state with native grasses and shrubs which absorbed the tidal surges from Hurricane Sandy. Very little erosion was present in the adjacent area that was left natural while the cleared area with lawn was carved away by the storms. This made for a good case study on the effects of removing native vegetation and over development of a shoreline. Two years later the shoreline is stable and the plantings have spread their root system throughout the sandy mix to strengthen the shoreline and blend seamlessly with the adjoining natural habitat.

South Bay Beach before and after restoration.

 

With a professional plan to restore Mother Nature we can revive and care for our waterfronts so we can retain the soil, sand, and vegetation. This protects our parks, beaches, property values and the overall beauty of this magnificent island we call home.

If you want advice or guidance on restoring your waterfront property please contact Goldberg and Rodler and we will connect you with one of our designers to schedule a consultation.

 

Written by Rick Schneider

 

Monday
Sep092013

Orient Point Bluff Restoration

This property on eastern Long Island, situated on the North Fork on a bluff, sustained serious damage from Superstorm Sandy last fall. The neighbors all have boulders at the base of their bluffs but this property was purchased without boulders, causing the Long Island Sound to wash out the base of the bluff during Sandy. This caused severe erosion from top to bottom washing away soil and plantings. The client hired a contractor to install boulders and plant the bluff with erosion control after the storm. All of the plants and erosion control failed during this past spring due to thunderstorms and the bluff was in bad shape again.

See our gallery with pictures chronicling the reconstruction.

After having a second contractor try to remediate the bluff (with very poor results), the clients contacted us to consult on the situation. Our solution included filling the bluff with topsoil and sandy compost and then installing two layers of heavily pinned, crisscrossed and overlapped jute matting. Finally, a palette of hardy, native seaside plants including bayberry, beach plum, beach rose, goldenrod and beach artemisia were planted through the double layer of jute matting. The keystone of the erosion control was planting over 5000 plugs of American beach grass. The roots and foliage from all of these plants, once established, will help stabilize the bluff while providing a native and natural seashore aesthetic.

The project needed to be completed in a tight time frame to stabilize the bluff. Unfortunately, this meant our crews were installing these plants in the early summer during a heat wave where temperatures reached 100 degrees. Temporary irrigation was set up to help the plants get established and it will be removed after one or two growing seasons.

At the top of the bluff, the lawn area was re-graded to control the flow of water over the bluff and sod was installed to restore the more manicured backyard feeling that had existed prior to Sandy. This vital hurricane remediation project lets the client use their backyard again to entertain and relax while enjoying the breathtaking view that a property on the bluff presents.