SALISBURY — Sand dune replenishment began on Salisbury Beach Monday, after months of lobbying by local and state officials.
A nor'easter eroded dunes and damaged homes between public access ways 6 and 7 on North End Boulevard in early February.
Homeowners joined the Salisbury Beach Betterment Association in reaching out to town and state officials to work out a plan to raise the $144,000 necessary to renourish the eroded sand dunes.
According to a press release from the office of state Sen. Diana DiZoglio, D-Methuen, $90,000 in state money was secured for the project, while the remaining $54,000 in labor costs was picked up by beach-area residents directly affected by the storm.
The project entails dumping sand along numerous dunes in the North End Boulevard area of the beach with an eye toward improving public ways, as well as protecting homes near the beach.
“I am truly grateful we have been able to get this project, which has been a long time coming, approved for the people of Salisbury, so many of whom were at risk of losing their homes due to sand dune erosion,” DiZoglio said in the press release.
DiZoglio thanked Town Manager Neil Harrington, conservation agent Adriane Marchand, Salisbury Beach Citizens for Change, the Salisbury Beach Betterment Association and beach-area residents for their "tireless efforts and advocacy."
SBBA president Bill Greilich said the project's approval is good news for all of Salisbury.
“It took a monumental team effort led by our legislative delegation and town officials to get it accomplished," Greilich said.
Salisbury Beach Citizens for Change president Tom Saab also said the renourishment project is a welcome arrival, noting, "This project is the culmination of months of hard work and perseverance of many people. We started this process just days after the February storm and it took us four months to work through the challenging permitting and funding process."
State Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, R-Gloucester, thanked DiZoglio, state Rep. Jim Kelcourse, R-Amesbury and state Rep. Lenny Mirra, R-Georgetown, for their work to get sand hauled in.
“The Salisbury Beach Citizens for Change and the Salisbury Beach Betterment Association developed an initiative to join homeowners together with state and local government to get the job done, and remained focused on that initiative," Tarr said.
Kelcourse said that erosion and storm surge have been damaging Salisbury Beach for years, adding, "This project will bring the community one step closer to maintaining our beloved shoreline."
Staff writer Jim Sullivan covers Amesbury and Salisbury for The Daily News. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 978-961-3145. Follow him on Twitter @ndnsully.