Restoration of Slightly Damaged Dunes

Dune sands are readily moved and shaped by wind and water action. Consequently, disturbed dunes revert rapidly to unstable conditions, regardless of their stage of development at the time of the disturbance. As a result, dune restoration usually begins with the establishment of pioneer plants.

Dunes that are only slightly damaged may be repaired by planting vegetation in bare areas, giving stressed grasses a reasonable amount of fertilizer, and protecting the area from trampling and traffic.

Vegetation is critical to dune formation and stabilization. Without vegetation, blowing sand will migrate inland.

The selection of plant species is paramount when restoring vegetation in bare areas of existing dunes. Dune plants must survive sand blasting, sand burial, salt spray, saltwater flooding, heat, drought, and a limited nutrient supply. Only a few plant species can tolerate these stresses.