The Hepburn Family Preserve is one of Fenwick’s most fragile shoreline areas prone to erosion. A few years ago the LPLT and the Borough came together creating the Hepburn Family Preserve Living Shoreline Project. A “living shoreline” is created by installing rock berms in the water to prevent the crush of waves which in turn encourages the collection of silt where marsh grass can grow to create a natural shoreline more resilient to the effects of big storms. The LPLT, with the help of your contributions and the Borough jointly funded a design study and applied for grants to fund the different parts of the project. Andy Fisk from the Connecticut River Conservancy joined the group and was able to secure additional grants needed for the project. The urgency of the project was highlighted last fall when the Hepburn Family Preserve dune was breached by big storms passing through our area. Members of the Living Shoreline Project committee persuaded the Department of Energy and Environmental
Protection to mitigate the effects of the
breach by installing logs to form a barrier and placement of a culvert to help maintain the tidal flow of Crab Creek. Unfortunately, the big storm that tore
through our neighborhood a few months ago destroyed that barrier and the fragile dune was breached again.
This fall the first part of the Living Shoreline Project will be implemented with the relocation of Crab Creek further north and the installation of a new culvert, to provide more breadth for the refurbished dune.
While we wait to get the larger project in place, we need to ensure that the Sound and River do not meet through the breach at the Hepburn dune, which would cause large scale, irreparable erosion and change the map of Fenwick in a very costly way. The members of the Living Shoreline Project are working hard with representatives from State and with engineers to implement the complete restoration of the Hepburn Dune. Your support is vital to this effort.
Lynde Point Land Trust and the Connecticut Audubon Society (CAS) have been collaborating now for six years in identifying and implementing appropriate bird management/enhancement measures for the borough.
Maintenance of nest boxes, seasonal installation and cleaning of Purple Martin houses, maintenance and cleaning of Osprey platforms and nests, and relocation of competing species are the focus of the conservation efforts. During nesting season, evaluations are made regarding nesting success, parasite infestations, and general conditions of nesting boxes/houses and platform nests. CAS Staff and borough volunteers note any signs of wildlife encountered which may influence decisions on conservation measures for priority species. CAS Staff identify potential threats and recommended management procedures.
Since the replacement of the Purple Martin houses for the nesting season of 2015, there has been a steady increase in the colony’s size and fledging success. Osprey platforms over the last five years have increased from six to ten with accompanying fledging successes.
This collaboration is an ongoing project of hands-on management. The Land Trust has made and continues to make a significant investment of funds to assure the success of birds nesting and birds using the resources available in the borough as a migration stopover and wintering site.
In the past year the LPLT, the Borough and FIF came together to develop a master plan for removing dead trees and replacing them with new trees that future generations of Fenwickians will enjoy. Altogether, twenty two new trees were planted along Nibang and Fenwick Avenues, and on the golf course. A variety of species including crab apples, oak trees and sycamores to name a few were planted. More than half of the funds used for the project came from your contributions to the LPLT, for which we are very grateful. This year four trees on the golf course need to be cut down because they pose a safety hazard.
You may have seen the trees identified by a red ribbon. This year we hope you will consider donating funds to cover the planting of some larger trees to replace the ones that have to be cut down.
Your support and contributions will enable us to meet our goals and improve conditions. Your generous donation will fund our mission.
Copyright © 2020 Lynde Point Land Trust - All Rights Reserved.
Photos by Judy Benson/Connecticut Sea Grant and Jennifer Mccann. Spring photos by Brett Morrison, Annie Procaccini and Frank Keeney.
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