Friday, October 20, 2017

a whole contractor bag in half an hour; Hallock State Park

again high tide Friday so rather than struggle over the rutted beach Idid more work behind the dune line. I realized that if I am to make progresswith the prodigious quantity of trash that's been dumped there over the years, I need more and bigger bags

and in just half an hour I filled a whole contractor bag.

In the afternoon I went over to the new Hallock State Park 15 minutes east of Reeves Park. Wed, thur and fri it's free if you are over 62. It straddles the Riverhead-Southhold line. Last time I visited I went west along the beach and found some vehicle ruts even though the Park does not allow driving. This time I went east, and soon the ruts petered out, because Southhold very sensibly does not allow driving. There was almost no trash either.

and this

and this

with this, a day earlier at Reeves Beach

But the big drawback of the Hallock beach is the sight of the Riverhead Oil Terminal looming in the water.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

slow but steady progress undoing years of abuse

High tide and chilly so instead of clambering over the maze of deep ruts

I retreated once more behind the dune line and quickly filled 6 bags with trash

someone had rolled up and tossed aside the Peconic Land Trust snow fencing

little footprints

     by the time I headed back the tide was lower and the beach more walkable

behind the dune line

Monday, October 16, 2017

3 more bags; grandifolia sandhills

High tide today and a strong northwest wind driving spray even onto the upper beach, where a network of deep ruts made it difficult to walk, so I again retreated behind the dune line, and again rapidly filled 3 bags of trash. It's rather depressing to see how much garbage is scattered in this area, partly because of the driving there, but also I suspect that in past years people have simply driven their garbage bags to the beach and tossed them out of sight into the dunes. It's dismaying that people do this, but it's inevitable that if you let people drive on the beach and make absolutely no provision to monitor their conduct, the result is mayehm (albeit only by a small minority- but that's always the problem). I'm no fan of Reagan but one thing he said makes sense: trust but verify.

OK, with work done, time to play a bit. The area I was cleaning belongs to the Peconic Land Trust and I ventured a very short way up into a narrow valley. On either side I saw some of the stunted beech trees that are the key element of the Dwarf Maritime Beech Forest that's known as the Grandifolia Sandhills. Here are a couple of examples.

I'll write more about this globally rare and endangered natural community in future posts. I wonder whether any of the beach party people ever suspect they are throwing their empty beer bottles into the finest example anywhere in the world of a globally rare natural community, comparable to the famous Torrey Pine Reserve near San Diego. Unfortunately the Town of Riverhead approved the bulldozing of the core of this amazing place, but fragments still persist.