As barrier islands line our coast and provide vital protection from the powerful waters of the Atlantic, the sand dunes lining the front of our barrier islands are the first line of defense from the wind and waves. As humans, over time, have realized their love for proximity to the ocean we have built our homes and businesses at what seemed like a reasonable distance from the ocean. However, in our rush to make our homes by the sea, a lack of forethought and knowledge of history has put us in somewhat of a predicament. Due to the nature of barrier island movement, these homes which used to be up to a mile from the shoreline now have the waters of the Atlantic constantly lapping at their doors. No one feels the affect of coastal flooding more during hurricane season.
Some of the dunes are naturally occurring, but most of them were created to protect our coastal heritage and way of life. Over time we’ve discovered how to proliferate sand dunes utilizing artificial means such as sand fences, but we’ve also discovered natural ways as well. We work hand in hand with the coastal towns to renourish the sand dunes by recycling Christmas trees and planting sea oats. All of these methods utilize similar functions in that they block and prevent sand from blowing past them. As the sand collects, the dunes grow higher and higher. Sea oats are especially valuable because as they collect sand they are forced to grow higher and their roots are forced to grow deeper. This unique ability to hold the grains of sand in a dune formation makes sea oats an incredibly important part of the landscape when you visit east coast beaches. It is the reason you see boardwalks over to the beaches, and “Do Not Walk on the Dunes” signs. In fact, there is a very expensive penalty for walking on or through the sand dunes in most places.
Part of our program is dedicated to aiding in the renourishment of these dunes. Working closely with the towns of Wrightsville and Topsail Beach we are able to help protect the resources that we depend on daily. By planting sea oats in organized rows down the beach we aid in the rebuilding of these important structures for when the storms do eventually come.
Support Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation
Please help us continue to protect and conserve the remaining species of Sea Turtles. Through education and public awareness we can ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy the natural wonder of these magnificent marine species.
Please consider giving a membership to the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Hospital Foundation for birthdays and other special occasions.
Thank you for your interest and support.