Wednesday, September 4, 2013

What a difference a dune makes and how to build one

Temporary dune built in Ortley Beach, NJ after Sandy struck - Reuters photo

When Superstorm Sandy ripped into New Jersey at 89 miles-an-hour last October, it knocked a boardwalk roller coaster into the ocean, pushed homes into Barnegat Bay, destroyed others in place and caused millions of dollars worth of damage and untold heartache for homeowners and businesses.

In tiny Midway Beach, however, a quarter-mile-long community within South Seaside
Park, only one house sustained minor water damage.

What spared the community of mostly
post-World War II, one-story bungalows?

The answer is Midway's 25-foot-high (7.6-meter-high) dunes that the community started passively building 30 years ago.

In the interesting article, How (And Why) to Build a Dune, National Geographic explains
that the project started out as a way to prevent an annual annoyance and ended up being
the town's best defense.

Wooden fencing layered in a saw tooth pattern catches wind-blown sand

In the same post, Dominick Solazzo, a trustee on the Midway Beach Condominium Association's board of directors, also offers a three-step tutorial on how his town built
their dune--and how you can, too.

We'd love to hear your thoughts on dunes or other shore-protection measures. Use the comment box below.

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