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Posted on: May 20, 2020

Importance of Staying off the Dunes

beach sand dunes

Indian River County wants to remind residents and visitors to stay off the dunes when visiting our beaches.
Dunes play a vital role in the protection and restoration of our beaches. Dunes act as the first line of defense against storms, protecting business, hotels, and homes from damage. They also offer protection for nesting sea turtles and other native wildlife. Dunes are dynamic environments and will fluctuate throughout the year due to the effects of wind, waves, tide, and storm events.
Dune vegetation is extremely important to the dune’s structure by helping it continually build and work as a strong, natural wall of protection. Healthy dune systems rely on the root system from vegetation to maintain their shape during erosional events. Typical natural dune vegetation includes sea grapes, sea oats, bitter panicgrass, railroad vine, and dune sunflower.
Sitting, standing, sunbathing, walking, jumping, or throwing items down the dune is detrimental to the dune system’s structure and function. These activities can kill the vegetation and compromise the dunes. Florida statues and local ordinances are in place to ensure protection of the dune system. People found damaging the dunes may be subject to fines and/or imprisonment. Beachgoers should only access the beaches at designated access points and pick-up after themselves.

Contact:

 Brian Sullivan, Legislative Affairs & Communications Manager
bsullivan@ircgov.com
772-226-4329

Contact:

 Molly Klinepeter, Lagoon Plan Environmental Specialist
mklinepeter@ircgov.com
772-226-1651

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