Grant to Fund Coastal Resilience Management Plan for Dodge Paddock/Beal Preserve

Avalonia Land Conservancy is very pleased to announce that a $55,000 grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Long Island Sound Future’s Fund will be used to develop and implement a coastal resilience management plan designed specifically for their Dodge Paddock/Beal Preserve in Stonington, Connecticut. Dr. Juliana Barrett, Associate Extension Educator at Connecticut Sea Grant, will partner with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to oversee the development and implementation of this important project.

The coastal preserve, located at the end of Wall Street in a highly residential neighborhood in Stonington Borough, features a diverse mix of at-risk and high-priority habitats including tidal wetlands, coastal grassland, beach/dune habitat and rocky intertidal habitat.

The new management plan will factor in impacts of climate change such as major storm events, sea level rise, and increased heavy precipitation. The incorporation of “hybrid living shoreline” (anti-erosion) measures to Avalonia’s current management plan will be critical to the long term resilience of the tidal wetlands. To that end, an engineering study will be funded to assess how best to protect the south face of the property. Other protective measures will include the replanting of existing cultivated gardens with hardy, native, salt-tolerant plants to form a tidal marsh migration buffer and the replacement of uplands brush and invasive plants with coastal grasslands.

Avalonia is grateful that their much-loved property will be part of this project and looks forward to taking part in both the planning and implementation of a new
management plan. It may benefit not only the Dodge Paddock/Beal Preserve but also the Stonington community as a whole since resilience strategies applied to the Preserve may be applicable to other at-risk habitat areas along our shoreline.

Photo caption – DEEP Commissioner Rob Klee congratulates Chuck Toal, Director of Development and Programs, and the Avalonia Land Conservancy for being the beneficiary of a $55,000 grant issued to CT Sea Grant under the oversight and development of Dr. Juliana Barrett. The grant is from from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for the development and implementation of a coastal resilience management plan for their Dodge Paddock/Beal Preserve in Stonington, Connecticut.