On Monday, March 19, partner organizations helped restore a rare habitat at Odiorne Point State Park using wild beach grass salvaged from a New Hampshire Department of Transportation maintenance project on the New Castle causeway. The beach grass was planted at Odiorne Point State Park on the east side of the jetty, in two maritime shrubland/cobble beach areas. Approximately four acres of this rare habitat has recently been cleared of invasive honeysuckle. The beach grass from the causeway has a higher chance of success than nursery stock because it is genetically adapted to local conditions.
Kevin Lucey, the DES Coastal Program restoration coordinator, and Lenny Lord, district manager and ecologist with the Rockingham County Conservation District (RCCD) coordinated the work. The RCCD is currently leading the restoration effort with funding support from the DES Aquatic Resources Mitigation Fund (ARM). This restoration effort builds upon work already being done to control invasive plants and restore native habitats in other areas of Odiorne. The DES ARM funds are also being put to work to restore a coastal salt pond adjacent to the one of the maritime shrubland sites. The salt pond habitat is the only one of its kind in the state.
Partner groups such as the DES Coastal Program, Rockingham County Conservation District, N.H. State Parks, Seacoast Science Center, additional members of Coastal Watershed Invasive Plant Partnership, NH Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, town of Rye and volunteers have been integrally involved in the restoration efforts at Odiorne.