Recycled Christmas trees protect shoreline from erosion

BY Lauren Wanko, Correspondent |

The American Littoral Society is collaborating with local government and various other organizations in Ocean County to help protect the shoreline from erosion — with Christmas trees.

“What they are, basically, is trees set in a row offshore that kind of run perpendicular to shore that then catch that sediment, raise the elevation of the marsh and then the plants reestablish that’s the concept,” said Captain Alek Modjeski, habitat restoration program director for the American Littoral Society.

Staff and volunteers secure the trees with stakes and twine and place hundreds of recycled oyster shells, donated by Monmouth County restaurants, around the trees for added weight and a new habitat for animals.

The American Littoral Society received about 800 trees from New Jersey residents. They launched their Christmas tree campaign right after the holidays, asking folks to drop off their trees at a local church. The Point Pleasant Borough Department of Public Works also picked up the trees curbside and eventually they brought everything to the location.

The American Littoral Society will continue to monitor the project and they hope to add new Christmas trees each year.