One major reason that European beachgrass and other invasive species are a threat to coastal sand ecosystems is because they stabilize the sand dunes. Coastal sand ecosystems are very harsh and difficult for most plants to live in because the ground they would grow in is constantly shifting! Sand dune plants are adapted to this, but most other plants are not. However, some invasive species like European beachgrass (or Scotch broom at other sandy beaches) are able to withstand these harsh conditions and grow anyways. Their extensive roots systems trap the sand and stabilize the ground. Now that the sand isn’t moving around as much, other plants have an easier time growing and establishing in the area. Their roots contribute to stabilizing the dune even more, which allows even more plants to establish… It becomes a vicious cycle that is difficult to get out of without the help of people carrying out restoration!
We will be returning to this site again on August 25th & 31st to continue our work here!
Before and After Photos
“The events are so well-organized, everyone is welcoming and friendly and I feel like I’m making a real impact on the environment. There is a lot of negative news about the environment everyday, this program makes me feel like I’m doing a small part towards making changes. It’s also a fantastic way to build community and bring people from different backgrounds and areas of the Island together.” – Teresa
“Besides removing some invasive species, I think this program encourages participants to act on their own.” – Joanne