Beach Dunes

April 7, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Posted in Nature, Perspective | Comments Off on Beach Dunes
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Glorious

I don’t know how many hours I’ve spent walking on beaches, but I have to believe it must be in the thousands. Yes, thousands. You see, I’ve lived near or on the ocean for all but six years of my life, and that means I’ve trekked beaches in New England, Middle Atlantic states, the Southeast and the Gulf of Mexico. Of course, there’s all those hours visiting exotic places in Europe, Africa, Middle East, and Asia when I was either on business or vacation, and could always find time for a little beach walk. Oh, and then there’s those cool beaches of California, Oregon and Washington. So, in a very informal and non-academic way, I am kind of a dune expert.

I love beach dunes, especially Florida beach dunes. So, I want everyone to know what dunes are and how important it is to protect them. Listen up.

Beach dunes one time may have been part of the ocean floor when the oceans covered the land. Others are created by wind and storms depositing sand high up on the beaches. In this sand are organic matter (read plant life) which embeds in the sand and begins to grow. Plants sprout and capture more sand and more organic matter in an ongoing process which results in a larger and healthier dune. While Nature can take away what it has made, it also can replenish through its cycle of strong winds and onshore storms which dump large amounts of sand and organisms.

Man, however, is another impact force on dunes, and we can be better stewards of what has been provided us.

By staying off the dunes and not picking or destroying dune vegetation, we can protect the dunes. By planting approved dune plants we can enhance the dune vegetation, which will attract more organisms from the wind-blown sand. By convincing local and state officials to protect the dunes, we can assure that government offices are doing their part.

If you love the dunes, or the beach, or the ocean, or Nature at large, do your part. Get involved and take action. Maybe we’ll cross paths!

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