Beach Dune Info
Storm surges can eliminate coastal vegetation and sand dunes all together. Biomimicry is a “green” method to build or rebuild dunes, which are vital to coastal towns such as Sea Bright, for storm surge protection. This is done by using biodegradable and sustainable cedar shims installed in the beach to “mimic” the job of local vegetation, by collecting sand that has blown or washed up to it. The shims help to build up the berms and create dunes by using the same wind that would otherwise cause beach erosion.
- Biomimicry uses individual cedar shims (not fencing)
Cedar shims are typically 14” long and come in bundles of 42. One bundle of shims can cover an area ~10’x10’
Five packages of shims and one hour of time can create a 100’ long dune
Shims should be placed 3-4” deep in the sand, spaced 10-14” apart in a “random matrix”. Placement can be done by hand or with a rubber mallet (no heavy equipment needed)
The overall matrix pattern of random shims is between 4-6’ wide
Matrix lines should be installed parallel to the shoreline
Use an “up and over” technique to create an entrance over the dunes at designated areas, as “cut through” paths promote blow outs that are extremely vulnerable to wind gusts and storm surges
Once the shims are in place along the beaches, they must be pulled up over time to continue the process of building the dune. Extra shims can be added to the matrix to add to the dune. Vegetation can be planted in addition to the shims once the dune is established. Shims may also require some adjusting after storms.