How Sand Cliffs Condominiums’ HOA is Working to Achieve Coastal Resiliency

Frederique Beroset MBA & M.S. in Biology

Article Highlight: Resiliency against storm surge is a choice that starts with strengthening your coastal dunes.

Key Takeaway: Every storms will eventually pass. The purpose of strengthening your sand dune is to build a resilient and continuous barrier that can help absorb a storm’s destructive impact. Even if the waves severely damage the dune, protection is achieved when the storm surge is held back long enough for the storm to pass without its wave action damaging water-front communities and infrastructure.

Learn Fast: Watch the video below to learn how Sand Cliffs Condominiums maximized their investment in coastal resiliency when they restored their dune to pre-Hurricane Sally state.

Watch the Restoration of Sand Cliffs Condominiums’ Massive Dune

How can you Build Protection from Storm Surge too?

Before we expand on Sand Cliffs’ history, here are two actionable steps that can help you accelerate your recovery from erosion-based damage and fortify your property before the next storm hits.

  • First, identify any potential weak points along your protective dune. Schedule a site visit for your property and have our coastal restoration experts conduct a dune health assessment.
  • Second, strengthen your protective dune. Our team will analyze your dune’s assessment to develop a customized Dune Master Plan for you to achieve and maintain coastal resiliency.

Dune Doctors will streamline and handle your entire restoration process, from acquiring all necessary permits to ensuring the completion of your dune’s construction. For a comprehensive approach to dune management, when needed we enlist the industry’s best contractors for boardwalk repairs or replacement and sand installation.

Hear it from Randy Smith the Property Manager at Sand Cliffs Condominiums

“Dune Doctors made my job easy. All I had to do was worry about signing checks. They handled all of the coordination between government regulatory agencies and the sand contractors. We reached out to Dune Doctors after Hurricane Sally. They took care of the permitting for our emergency sand placement and provided quotes from different sand contractors. After the new dune was finished, they stabilized the loose sand with native vegetation and installed a row of sand fences to initiate another protective berm. The old dune is gone, but the dune and plants did what they were supposed to do. They protected our infrastructure.”

– Randy Smith

Sand Cliffs’ History of Coastal Stewardship

Since the early 2000s, Sand Cliff Condominiums’ HOA board and property manager have achieved coastal resiliency by investing in their protective dune system. The community recognizes their dune is a valuable asset that should be invested in and cared for to bolster their protection from storm surge. Sand Cliffs preserved and maintained their dune-building vegetation by having our team add grasses and fertilize the plants as necessary. To help further delay storm action from ever reaching their infrastructure, Sand Cliffs also installed vegetation and sand fences seaward of their existing dune. The sand fences helped trap wind-blown while the plants anchored it in place. These combined efforts resulted in a dune system with multiple lines of defense that were able to protect Sand Cliffs from storm action for nearly two decades.

How did Hurricane Sally Impact Sand Cliffs Condominiums?

When Hurricane Sally made its unexpected landfall in Alabama, Sand Cliffs’ dune absorbed the shock of the powerful storm surge and 90% of it was eliminated in the process. However, besides the erosion, the storm’s wave action caused zero structural damage. Located roughly 120 miles east of where Hurricane Sally made landfall, Sand Cliffs Condominiums sits on the outskirts of Panama City Beach and experienced storm surge that was estimated to be 3-5ft high. Their beach’s width roughly measured a mere 70ft north-south. This short width of recreational beach area led the surge to directly crash into the well established dune. While the waves caused heavy erosion, Sand Cliffs’ dune did precisely what it was optimized to do: absorb a hurricane’s destructive wave action, sparing the community’s infrastructure.

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