In early 2008, the Town of Fairfield conducted a dredging project for the entrance to the South Benson marina that resulted in the destruction of sand dunes and sea grass at the mouth of the Ash Creek Tidal Estuary in an area we call the St. Mary's sand spit.  ACCA retained the services of an environmental consultant, Richard Orson, Ph.D., to obtain an expert opinion on habitat restoration.  We then met with the City of Bridgeport and the Town of Fairfield to develop a habitat restoration plan, obtain funding, and restore the area to prevent flooding of homes, shoreline erosion, and the destruction of the fragile ecological balance of the tidal estuary.

St. Mary's Sand Spit Partly in Fairfield



Bridgeport Fairfield Boundary Lines

St. Mary's Barrier Spit Before and After Hurricane Sandy

Before and after photos of St. Mary's barrier spit.  The top row of photos shows the barrier spit prior to Hurricane Sandy and the bottom row shows the barrier spit after Hurricane Sandy.  The tide rushed over the entire length of the sand spit tossing the picnic tables and destroying the fence as well as many of the plantings.  Clearly there is a need to replant in the Spring.  The plantings on the barrier spit are being monitored by the DEEP for three years (2011-2014).

St. Mary's Barrier Spit Before and After Hurricane Sandy 2012

Ash Creek Enhancement Project

The Ash Creek Conservation Association hired two environmental experts, a wetlands scientist, Dr.

Ash Creek Restoration Concept

Ash Creek Enhancement Project

This morning the City planted 300 containers of American Beach Grass, 50 Beach Plum shrubs, 50 Sand Cherry shrubs, and 50 Staghorn Sumac bushes at the sand spit.  They didn't prepare the soil and don't plan to water the plantings (please click on Read More at bottom).  The forecast doesn't call for rain for the next five days, but let's hope there is enough moisture in the ground from recent rains for the plantings to take hold and that there was enough sand left after Tropical Storm Irene

City and DEEP Reach Agreement on Sand Spit Plantings

The City of Bridgeport will begin plantings tomorrow along the area facing the Sound, where the beach grass plantings had been scraped off earlier this summer.  The City met with the Ash Creek Conservation Association, the Black Rock NRZ, and the consulting firm that is working on the Parks Plan late this afternoon to share the plan and to begin to forge a spirit of cooperation in working together going forward.  There will be four different types of plants which will provide biodiversity and help to establish a dune community over time rather than the flat disturbed conditions that now exi

Storm Damage on St. Mary's Sand Spit


More Published Letters to the Editor

Thank You!

We want to thank all 68 signers to the Letter to the Editor, which appeared most recently in The News (of Bridgeport's North End and Black Rock) on July 28, 2011 in addition to publication by the Connecticut Post and Len Grimaldi's Only in Bridgeport blog.  

Your e-mails have been very helpful in getting media attention and the direct attention of City officials on this matter.  With so many pressing issues in the City, it is easy for City officials to overlook the restoration of the sandspit and the longer term protection and preservation of the Ash Creek tidal estuary. 

Connecticut Post Letter to the Editor on St. Mary's Sandspit

A Letter to the Editor signed by 68 Black Rock residents appeared in the Connecticut Post on July 22, 2011 using the St. Mary's sand spit as an example of the need to hold City officials accountable for their actions.  The letter also appeared on Len Grimaldi's blog Only in Bridgeport a week earlier (for all posts on Len's blog regarding this issue type "St. Mary's" in the Search box on his blog.