Dunes of Honeymoon Island

A view of flowers growing among the dunes at sunset.

The dunes both help preserve the beach as well as provide habitat for a variety of different plant species. Many plants rely on beach dunes for survival. These plants face the harsh reality of living so close to the ocean – exposed to wind and sea spray, they find little nutrients in the sandy soil. Yet a variety of plants, including sea oats, sea rockets, and beach elder, grow and spread their roots in the dunes. These roots in turn help keep the dune stable, holding the sand in place and allowing the dunes to accumulate more.

Dunes at Honeymoon Island

The dunes are also important for the preservation of the beach. Storms can cause large waves to crash into the shore, causing tons of sand to wash back out to sea. Beach dunes can play a vital role in keeping the beach from being totally washed away: Because they store so much sand, some of it eventually makes its way back to the beach, replenishing the sand and keeping the beach intact.

Though they can look large and imposing, beach dunes are very fragile: Walking or driving on them can harm the dune plants that keep them stable, eventually leading to the dune crumbling away. Always follow posted signs and remember to steer clear of the dunes, so that they and the beaches can continue to wow visitors for years to come!