CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) –Over last few years the Surfrider Foundation Cape Fear Chapter has worked with the Town of Carolina Beach to help restore sand dunes and this weekend they continued that tradition.
More than 100 volunteers showed up to Periwinkle Lane Saturday morning to participate in their annual Christmas Tree & Dune Recycling Project.
The town has been collecting the trees since Christmas and 75 of them were placed along the dune line.
Each one was secured with all natural materials and over time will be buried by sand. Depending on the weather, the trees will likely not be seen in 6-12 months.
“I teach environmental science at a high school level so this is really important to me,” Keni Rienks, Cape Fear Academy teacher and Surfrider Foundation board member, said. “As a teacher, I don’t want my students just to hear me in classroom and not see me living what I teach.”
Rienks said nearly 10 students from Cape Fear Academy took part in the project. Rienks brought her kids along to participate too.
“They are our future,” Rienks said. “If we don’t teach them when they are at this young age then what we are doing now won’t matter.”
Gayle Drake and her daughter Ella have taken part before and say it’s something she looks forward to every year.
“We live here on Carolina Beach,” Drake said. “We use this beach on a daily basis. This is our home and it’s important to us and for me to show Ella that it’s important to take care of our home.”
The location has changed each year since they started in 2014 and is chosen based on the area that needs it the most. This year, it was the north end where some places there was no dune left.
While there are some rocks placed in the area to protect the houses behind them, problems have been discovered for homes nearby because of them.
“The home south of the rocks have really been starved of the dunes,” Rienks said. “It’s just the natural geological progression that the dunes move.”
In New Hanover County, Rienks says the second most abundant items found in our landfill is yard waste which includes Christmas trees.
Organizers says this is one of the many ways you can act to take care and preserve of our beautiful coastline.