Dune Grasses

August 20, 2002

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Provided by: Shane Cooley
Summary authors & editors: Shane Cooley

The photo above was taken this past June near Nags Head, North Carolina. Sand dunes are integral parts of the sea shore, and dune grasses and other vegetation helps to stablize sand dunes. Formed by prevailing winds as the sea recedes, these dunes are important because they act as natural barriers against erosion by storms and tides. Excessive foot traffic or removal of the vegetation disturbs the dunes and can lead to dune "blowouts" during strong storms, increasing the risk of tidal flooding behind the dunes.

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