The Indian River County (IRC) Public Works Coastal Engineering Division announced that the previously completed Sector 5 Beach and Dune Restoration Project area will be receiving an additional 135,000 Sea Oats, Uniola paniculata. The addition of these dune pants will help to stabilize the recently constructed dune, utilizing the strong network of roots these plants produce. The additional Sea Oat planting will take place out of Tracking Station Beach Park between February 1, 2022 and wrap up on or before February 28, 2022. This project will not impact the use of public beach parks.
During this time, the County would like to remind residents and visitors of the importance of sand dunes and dune vegetation. Sand dunes are not only a beautiful coastal ecosystem, but are critical to the protection and preservation of upland buildings and infrastructure. Sand dunes and dune vegetation act as the first line of defense against storm activity and tidal events. Natural dune stabilization and rebuilding is dependent upon the presence of dune vegetation. Native dune vegetation, like Sea Oats, are critical to maintaining the structure of dunes; providing a strong natural barrier of protection. Healthy dunes depend on the vegetation’s roots to maintain their shape during erosional events.
Beachgoers play a key role in helping to protect dunes here in Indian River County. Avoiding activities like walking, climbing, storing objects or laying on the dunes will help protect our coastlines. These activities are detrimental to a dune’s structure, leading to the destruction of dune vegetation and weakening the overall dune system, and are also a violation of County Ordinance 932.06. When visiting our beaches, residents and visitors should do their part and use designated dune crossovers and paths to access the beach to avoid trampling the dunes.
Project updates and beach park closures are available on the IRC website at www.ircgov.com and social media platforms as they become available.