PITA NewsLetter

Sponsored by the Plum Island Taxpayers & Associates, Inc. 2015

Bringing Plum Island TogetherNewsletter_files/PITA%20Newsletter%20August%202012.pdf

July  2015     PITA Newsletter July 2015.pdf

Beach grass, fence and posts and, soon, more beach sand

Beach grass is what holds this sandbar we call Plum Island together.

The Daily News of Newburyport neatly summed up its importance in a story last fall:

"Resilient and sinewy, beach grass is an unusual species of grass that is perfectly suited to the extreme conditions of the beach. Unlike other grasses, it thrives in sand and can tolerate salt. More than that, it survives -- and perhaps even thrives -- in the continually shifting sands that can bury it completely.

"For its part, beach grass forms a network of roots and tall blades that tend to grab and hold drifting sand. During severe storms that rip dunes apart, beach grass serves as the best defense available, as its mat-like web of roots and blades helps hold the dunes together against sand-stripping waves. Broad swaths of it are planted along local beaches, as it is considered to be one of the best ways to combat erosion."

That's why, over the years, PITA has encouraged and supported efforts to plant and sustain beach grass, also know as dune grass.

We've had some successes and some setbacks -- notably when winter storms wiped out rows upon rows of beach grass planted in the Center several years ago.

But we keep at it.

PITA is now working with the University of New Hampshire on a continuing effort to plant beach grass. Aided by a federal grant, UNH supplies the beach grass. With help from local volunteers, UNH is erecting beach fences, also know as snow fences, supplied by the Army Corps of Engineers. The fences trap sand as it blows along the beach, providing the footing to plant more beach grass.

PITA President Ron Barrett said PITA has also begun the process of planting 4-by-4 markers on the beach side of our rights of way. Eleven of the numbered markers are already installed with 21 more on the way.  They serve a twofold purpose. They clearly mark the paths beachgoers should use to get off the beach, rather than trample the beach grass that protects the dunes. Secondly, they will be used to measure beach erosion. The 10-foot posts are now imbedded three to four feet deep.

Work has begun, meanwhile, to rebuild the North Jetty, which should further help prevent erosion.

Finally, PITA and the Merrimack River Beach Alliance have begun meeting with representatives of Gloucester, Essex and Ipswich about a proposal to dredge sand from the choked shoals of their rivers to be deposited on beaches where it is needed -- notably on Plum Island and Salisbury Beach.

The multi-pronged effort to save our beach from the ravages of storms has been going on for years and will continue for years to come with your help and support for PITA. If we succeed, the Island and our beach will be preserved for generations to come.

Past Newsletter Issues
PITA Newsletter April 2015 6page.pdf  
PITA Newsletter October 2014.pdf  
          See Archived Newsletters                                 Newsletter_files/PITA%20Newsletter%20April%202015%206page.pdfNewsletter_files/PITA%20Newsletter%20October%202014.pdfNewsletter_and_Photo_Archive.htmlNewsletter_files/PITA%20Newsletter%20August%202012_1.pdfshapeimage_2_link_0shapeimage_2_link_1shapeimage_2_link_2

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Bathers at Plum Island, July 4 1899

Sign up for Townsend propane discount by August 1st.

Have you taken advantage of signing up for membership into the PITA Propane Buyer’s Group yet?  If not, now is the time to do so.  Join PITA if you’re not already a member or update your dues. Townsend Energy will be accepting new members through August 1st for the upcoming 2015-2016 heating season.  If you use propane for heating your home you can join the many others in the group who enjoy great pricing paired with no participation or rental fees.  Contact Kevin Anderson at 978.705.2322 or kanderson@TownsendTotalEnergy.com to join today. Membership does have its rewards!


For current PITA Propane Buy Group members: A letter has been mailed to you about the upcoming heating season.

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Inside This Issue

  1. -Beach grass, fence and posts and, soon, more beach sand

  2. -Sign up for Townsend propane discount by August 1st


  4. -Bruce Tarr and Donna Holaday thank PITA

  5. -Zumba, Tuesday nights at 6PM, Thursday mornings 9:30AM 

  6. -Yoga MONDAY NIGHT 6pm at pita hall

  7. -PI beautification

         meetings 7pm PITA hall- 1st tuesday


  1. Rent PITA Hall inexpensively as a Member

  2. Find PITA now on FaceBook -- Contribute photos, comments.

Quiet River II, oil on linen by local Newbury artist Candy Way


“The Art of Summer!” July 10, 11 & 12

Summer’s coming to the Island, and so are the Artists! Mark your calendars now to join us on the Island at PITA Hall for The Art of Summer, our fifth annual hosting of the Plum Island Art Festival presented by the members of the Saltbox Gallery during the weekend of July 10 – 12. This gala show will feature live demonstrations by sixteen renowned local artists who will be out-and-about creating images of familiar Plum Island scenes.

Throughout the weekend, there will be paintings, hand-made jewelry and fine handcrafts on display and for sale at PITA Hall. An Artist’s Reception is planned for Friday evening, July 10th, 6 – 9 PM. Sponsored by the Plum Island Grille and Vertical Solutions Inc.

Show hours: Saturday and Sunday, 10AM – 5PM. Free Parking. For more information visit Saltboxgallery.net.