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.
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.