Hilton Head Island’s network of sand dunes along the beach help protect the local coastline against erosion and flooding.
Held together by deeply-rooted plants and grasses, these mounds of sand anchor the coast, providing an important coastal ecosystem. Many years ago, sand dunes along the East Coast were flattened to create smooth, even beaches that looked perfect in postcards. However, when storms hit, the results were devastating, reducing beaches to a sliver of sand.
The sand dunes are also home to sea oats, which also provide key protection from flooding and erosion. These supple stalks catch and hold the sand, ensuring that the dunes grow. Their eight-foot roots help hold the dunes together, working overtime to protect the beach environment on Hilton Head Island.
Today, Hilton Head Island’s sand dunes are critical ecosystems that should not be disturbed, damaged or destroyed. Admire their beauty and appreciate the hard work they do 24/7 to protect the island’s beaches from a variety of threats.