Coastal dunes are valued for their aesthetic beauty and their critical role in the sustainability of coastal regions (Nordstrom et al. 2000). They provide habitat for wildlife and support a high biodiversity of flora and fauna. They also accrete sand, act as sand reservoirs, and help minimize beach erosion rates. In addition, they absorb wave energy, block storm surge and protect coastal infrastructure from storm damage. As a result, a healthy dune system is a critical component of any stable beach and an invaluable asset to coastal communities. The state of Florida has over 1,300 miles of coastline and a large abundance of coastal communities. The lure of Florida’s environmental amenities has fueled a rapidly growing population, particularly along the coastal regions. In 2006, it was estimated that approximately 95% of the population lives within 35 miles of the coast (Florida 2006). In addition to permanent residents, the state draws a large number of visitors year-round. More than 84.6 million people visited Florida in 2006, according to the state’s tourism development agency. The influx of residents and tourists makes real estate and tourism two of Florida’s primary economic drivers.
Kruyff Wells, Margarita, "Evaluating the role of vegetated dunes in ensuring the long-term preservation of the beaches in Miami Beach, Florida." (2013). Internship Reports (Restricted). 186.
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