Volunteers work to restore dunes in Flagler County

Adopt-A-Dune program aims to get results for environment

By Loren Korn - Reporter

FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. - A group of volunteers is planting state-approved vegetation to create natural fences in hopes of helping reverse erosion and damage to dunes along State Road A1A in Flagler County.

Volunteer LeighAnn Koch said at least 20 feet of dunes have been lost since she moved to Flagler Beach 26 years ago.

"This has been something dear to my heart now for over a dozen years," Koch said.

She said dunes that were damaged before Hurricane Matthew struck in October are now destroyed.

"Our dunes from 18th North to the Beverly beach line were critically eroded. (The Department of Transportation) came in and they partially rebuilt the dunes," Koch said.

She and the other volunteers, who started an Adopt-a-Dune program, are planting the natural fences until FDOT's permanent replacement can be installed.

"Any vegetation that we have along here safeguards the sand. It also creates roots under the ground to hold that sand in, more firmly in place," Koch said.

The group uses donated plants for its restoration and the volunteers hope to educate the public about the importance of the dunes.

"We're supposed to be good stewards of the environment and we really aren't, so we're trying to make a difference for the kids in the coming future, that they hopefully will be doing a better job than we have," volunteer Chris Nelson said.

Volunteers said they're hoping to get results for the Flagler Beach community, one plant at a time.

"This is an incredible little town, and everybody is all in when it comes to making life better here," Koch said.

For more information on how to volunteer for or donate to the Adopt-A-Dune program, visit www.cityofflaglerbeach.com.

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