When you visit our Alabama beaches, you may notice signs that prohibit walking on sand dunes or damaging the sea oats. There’s a reason we protect those dunes.
Our coast and beaches need them. Why? Glad you asked.
Those hills of sand act as a natural barrier to protect inland areas against storms and waves. When these barriers are damaged, high surf and strong waves brought on by storms are free to flow farther inland, potentially bringing greater devastation to coastal areas.
In addition, a whole world of wildlife and vegetation makes their home in these dunes. Sea turtles and shore birds build nests there, and destruction of these habitats can lead to destruction of these species.
The two biggest threats to sand dunes are storms that wash them away and humans who trample them.
It’s simple to remove the human issue: Play and walk in places away from the dunes, avoid wildlife nesting areas, and don’t destroy sea oats or sand fencing that helps grow and protect the dunes.