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Image via Wikimedia Commons

The holiday spirit is being revived in New York as discarded Christmas trees find new homes along the beaches of Rockaway. The city plans to collect up to 3,000 trees during its annual MulchFest event to be used as natural dunes and protection against erosion. Still in recovery after Hurricane Sandy, many of New York’s beaches have been left vulnerable, with boardwalks completely ravaged and sand dunes missing or depleted. The naturally biodegradable trees will act as stand-in fences, allowing time for the dunes to re-emerge until the city replaces the boardwalks later this year.

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Image ©Mackabee

The man-made Christmas tree dunes are part of a larger project between the city and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to strengthen the beaches that have been eroding due to storm damage over the past few years. Last August, the Surfrider Foundation and a team of volunteers successfully placed nearly 1,000 trees along storm ravaged Beach 30 and 32 and covered them with sand. Last year, residents of Long Beach, Long Island also used upcycled Christmas tree barriers to protect their homes and roadways against future storms.

New York is one of many cities that have used post-holiday décor to naturally  protect their shoreline. Christmas trees were also used on a number of beaches along the New Jersey shore post-Sandy. The city has yet to determine which beaches will receive the upcycled timber after it has been collected, but hopes to kick off the dune project no later than February.

The city’s Parks Department encourages people looking to participate in the dune project to remember to recycle their trees at this weekend’s Mulchfest.

Via NY Daily News