It doesn’t take long for newcomers to Florida to learn what “locals” know; the secret to storm preparation is to be proactive, and not reactive. For those involved in property management or ownership along the coast, you probably recognize that our coastal dune ecosystems are the first line of defense for property and people in the event of storm surge. Post-storm evaluations made note after Hurricane Sandy that resiliency structures like sand dunes played an important role in reducing the impact on coastal communities in New Jersey. As a result, a well thought out plan for proactive dune preservation, protection, optimization and maintenance could reduce the costs and special assessments for post-storm repair.”
ACTION STEPS (what to expect)
What are the important things to consider if you think your property might be at risk from storm surge related damage?
First, contact an expert to get an evaluation of the potential risk and failure points which may exist on your dunes. Remember, the coastline requires a special understanding – the vegetation, topography and environmental impacts are unique at the beach. Things like foot traffic, irrigation systems, invasive species, and unhealthy vegetation all add to the risk for potential loss in a storm event; an expert can explain those risk in clear and understandable terms.
Second, create a proactive Dune Master Plan. Having a plan means knowing what to do and when to do it. A well-prepared property will have started to improve and optimize the dune barrier system long before the next storm hits – luck favors the prepared.
Finally, when working with a coastal erosion control firm you should be given a clear list of project priorities to make the most of your budget and timeline. Don’t forget that special coastal considerations like Turtle Nesting Season (May 1 through Nov 1) and permitting can impact construction plans – so plan early to get all stakeholders informed and to schedule any meetings for approval well in advance of any project deadline.
In conclusion, the success of How to Build and Maintain a Storm Resilient Dune Structure starts with a proactive plan and involves hiring the right experts to work with your budget and timeline.