Broward County’s beach and dune system not only provides space for a multitude of recreational activities and iconic scenic views, but it also serves as the primary natural line of defense against wind and wave-induced beachfront erosion, especially when severe storm events impact our coastline. Dune vegetation is an important component of a healthy beach and dune system, and the leaves and extensive root systems of salt-tolerant native dune plants helps to trap and retain sand over time, thereby slowly building up the dune and creating a more diverse and healthier ecosystem. Furthermore, these areas also support many species of native plants and animals, many of which are threatened due to habitat loss.
The Broward County coastline includes 24 miles of beaches which are actively managed through ongoing local and regional beach nourishment projects. While beach nourishment has been a prominent shoreline protection strategy for many coastal communities, coastal dunes have been historically undervalued or even excluded from shoreline protection projects in some areas in favor of strategies that maximize broad vistas and open expanses of beach for recreational purposes. A 2017 assessment revealed that approximately 70% of our beaches have an integrated dune system, and many existing dunes have become degraded or intentionally removed. Given the importance of coastal dunes in supporting robust economic activities like tourism and real estate investments, this is a tremendous impediment to the longer-term benefits of our beach nourishment projects. The restoration and preservation of coastal dunes has become an area of growing concern both locally and nationwide as dunes are now recognized to significantly reduce the impacts of severe storms and coastal erosion, thus minimizing impacts to infrastructure and property. Coastal resilience is also becoming increasingly important in the context of sea level rise and the anticipated increasing frequency of severe storms associated with climate change. Prioritizing the integration of coastal dune restoration and preservation as a prominent component in our shoreline protection projects will help build resilience in our coastal communities and cultivate a shared appreciation for this valuable natural resource.
NEW FUNDING ANNOUNCEMENT
FY19 SUPPLEMENTAL GRANT AWARDS
Six awards of up to $5,000 each are available to support local dune projects.
The Environmental Planning and Community Resilience Division is pleased to announce 6 new grant opportunities are available to civic associations, coastal property owners, municipalities, and non-profit organizations to conduct dune restoration and enhancement projects.
For more information or to request an application, contact the Coastal Dune Grant Program at:
CoastalDunes@broward.org or (954) 519-1452
An application will soon be available for download from this site.
Applications are dune by August 30, 2019.
Previous Projects: Here are some examples of successful dune restoration projects that utilized Coastal Dune Grant Program funding in previous years. For a typical project, first the area is prepared for restoration by removing any exotic and/or invasive plant species and then moving sand to fill in low areas or add height to the berm as needed. The area is then planted with sea oats that are placed into shallow holes set at regular intervals, with other native plants added in to increase diversity and aesthetic appeal. Afterwards, the area is roped off for protection and maintained with routine watering until the plants become established.
City of Fort Lauderdale