SOURCE: Alex Fogg, Okaloosa Tourist Development Department

Okaloosa seeks volunteers to help plant 200,000 sea oats for Dune Stabilization Project

Community volunteers are needed to help plant 200,000 sea oats on Saturday, April 16th at 7 a.m.
SOURCE: Alex Fogg, Okaloosa Tourist Development Department

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The Okaloosa County Tourism Department is continuing with dune restoration and stabilization on Okaloosa Island beaches, and are looking for help from the community. 

Community volunteers are needed to help plant 200,000 sea oats on Saturday, April 16th at 7 a.m.

  • This project is funded by Okaloosa County Tourist Development and a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation matching grant. 

“The dunes are an important part of our coastal landscape,” said Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners Chairman Mel Ponder. “We are fortunate that Destin-Fort Walton Beach Tourism is dedicated, not only, to keeping our highly-visited beaches pristine but to help fund this project that ensures resiliency to our coastlines in the event of a storm by reinforcing the dune system.”

In November, Destin-Fort Walton Beach Tourism installed 10,600 feet of sand fencing along three miles of Okaloosa Island public beaches and John Beasley Park with the assistance of a partnership with Trees on the Coast. Teams of volunteers made the sand fencing installation a success. 

  • The fencing helps expand the dunes and mitigates impacts that have been made to nesting sea turtles, piping plovers and other nesting birds in the area. 
  • Planting sea oats along the existing sand fencing allows for dune restoration and stabilization which are key to the natural coastal environment and provide additional wildlife habitats as well as protection for upland structures during storm events.
📸 Okaloosa County Public Information Office

“The dunes provide a sand source that keeps our beaches healthy,” said Alex Fogg, Coastal Resource Manager, Destin-Fort Walton Beach. “The first step to building up the dune system is to install sand fencing to trap and build sand. The next step is to plant vegetation that stabilizes the dune and prevents sand from blowing or washing away.”

According to Fogg, community support has been essential to the success of the dune stabilization project.

Wanna get involved? Click here to register.

Volunteers will sign a waiver and pick up sea oats to transport to assigned beach accessways where team leaders will be stationed to offer instruction and assistance. 

  • Equipment will be provided but volunteers are asked to bring water, sunscreen, and gloves.

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