BIRA to help rebuild dunes
A brief Conservation Commission meeting on Tuesday, February 12, offered promise for rebuilding Block Island’s dunes along East Beach from the Surf Hotel to Mansion Beach, many of which were heavily damaged in Hurricane Sandy and a subsequent winter storm.
Bill Penn, president of the Block Island Residents Association (BIRA), explained that the organization is planning a fundraiser to assist the town to preserve the dunes.
Conservation Commissioner John Hopf explained that the best first step to restoration is to erect snow fencing, which helps capture and contain sand.
Penn explained that he would ask BIRA members to donate money to purchase the fencing, and possibly even help install it. “It would be great to have the community effort,” he said.
“It raises their awareness to stay off the dunes,” Hopf added.
Commissioners broke down the estimated cost of the snow fencing and installation materials (about $100 per roll with associated materials, with an estimated 40 to 50 rolls needed).
The Conservation Commission also discussed organizing a campaign, with posters and signs, to encourage beachgoers to stay off the dunes.
The group also held a preliminary discussion about installing a beach access point across from or near the Solviken Property, a spot popular with surfers and other beach-goers. Commission Chair Ned Phillips said that many people park in the Solviken parking lot, cross over Corn Neck Road, and have to walk across the dunes to to the beach. The commission would like to prevent this from happening