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Best of the Best Restored Beaches

2011 Winner: Menauhant Beach, Massachusetts

The Menauhant beach and dune restoration project was completed in the fall of 2008. Using sand derived from a federally funded and sponsored project to improve a nearby navigation channel, a municipal public beach restoration project was completed. The restoration reduced potential for barrier overwash and stormMenauhant damage; improved and increased intertidal habitat; improved public access to the shores and waters of Vineyard Sound; and enhanced recreational use at the beach. The project shows that with cooperation among local, state, and federal authorities, regional sediment management can provide a balanced and sustainable source of sediments for restoration projects.

More than 20,000 cubic yards of clean sand dredged during a federal project that created a better navigation channel into Great Harbor off Woods Hole, Mass. was used to restore approximately 1,900 linear feet of Menauhant Beach, which is about five miles away from the dredge site by sea. Once delivered to the beach site, the sand was used to substantially raise and broaden existing dunes and to construct new dunes in areas that were previously exposed to Vineyard Sound. Beach slopes were constructed to provide habitat for foraging shorebirds. Volunteers planted beach grass on all dune areas. Sand fencing was installed around the completed restoration to better control foot traffic and promote accretion of wind-blown material.