How are the dunes ultimately formed.

Discussion in 'All About SoWal' started by Rather B Paddlin, Jul 18, 2005.

  1. Rather B Paddlin

    Rather B Paddlin Beach Lover

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    Dumb question. How are the dunes actually formed? It seems if they were formed by the light sand blowing and depositing on the existing dunes, Mother Nature could take a long time to replenish the dunes.

    I understand the concern about visitors trampling on the dunes; but didn't building homes right on top of dunes cause a lot of damage? I have seen some gulf front homes being built on top of dunes with little care for the dunes during the construction.

    I feel for the gulf front owners who are going to loose their homes. As the Pensacola City Manager said on CNN "Mother Nature is a mother".
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2005
  2. kurt

    kurt Admin Staff Member

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    :clap_1:
     
  3. TooFarTampa

    TooFarTampa SoWal Insider

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    The more I think about it, the more I think that Duke professor knows what he's talking about. It's all politics! When Grayton and Seagrove were settled, there weren't that many homes, and people didn't mind building a small, non-fancy cottage on the gulf front. I imagine what happened is that more people "discovered" it, the houses got fancier, and of course they all had to be out on the dune lines because the first houses were already out there. Then developers discovered it, and the prospect of huge tax revenue increases in an otherwise fairly poor county made the county commissioners approve whatever (who can really blame them), though you have to give them some them credit for the height restriction. And darned if those developers were going to ignore that beachfront property. At least some of them were smart enough to build back a bit.

    Before Opal, 20 years of no storms had made people think what they were doing is "safe." Opal was seen as an aberration. After Ivan and Dennis, people all over Walton County must be slapping their foreheads thinking, what have we done?

    I am grateful that both our properties are just north of 30-A, but you can bet if we could have afforded it we would have bought gulf front or closer to the beach. I truly feel for all those up front who have lost or are in danger of losing not just their homes but their PROPERTY. Their land is slipping away. That is a unique and tragic situation. I sure hope we have some smart people in charge of the very hard decisions that will have to be made.
     
  4. kurt

    kurt Admin Staff Member

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    TooFar good post. It looks like Alys Beach may move a little further back from the water now. They have consulted with the guy at Duke in the past and may be meeting with him soon.
     
  5. Rather B Paddlin

    Rather B Paddlin Beach Lover

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    I thought I read in another thread the sheared dunes that are vertical will eventually settle to a 30 degree slope ( I believe they meant 60 degrees). That means the dunes at best will still lose several feet or more at the top. This is real bad news if this is true. In some areas where the dunes are 30-40 foot high, that is catastrophic. Mother Nature is a mother.
     
  6. Travel2Much

    Travel2Much Beach Lover

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    I can see this going on across the street from me, where the cliff is sort of "leaking" sand to create a more shaped and sculpted edge. A big crack I didn't see a few day ago seems to have emerged and I bet that will go down. Fortunately, there are just a few old houses with good setbacks and some vacant lots, so there is no property at risk. The land was slated for a ridiculous, absurd condo project. Wonder if that will continue.
     
  7. TooFarTampa

    TooFarTampa SoWal Insider

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    Let's hope not. It's not surprising that Alys Beach will do the right thing (they're doing a great job right now justifying their prices). But it's time for the county to step in with some more rules and regulations and be firm about it. Plus the county would do well to try to educate people also, before they buy a spec home that is not built for the long term. Realtors aren't going to do it. There are enough empty individual lots still that this can help many people.

    All this must come as a huge shock to almost everyone. I know it shocked me, and I grew up with a dad who is an architect/environmentalist who yammered on, early and often, about the importance of beach conservation and intelligent development. I thought I was doing The Right Thing by buying in an area that wasn't a flood zone, with decent restrictions on building, surrounded by a few developments that seemed to be built properly. I just had no idea what Mother Nature could do. Not a clue. I'm certain I'm not alone.
     
  8. kurt

    kurt Admin Staff Member

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    Yes, the dunes will erode more and settle. Rainstorms will speed the process.
     
  9. southof30A

    southof30A Beach Lover

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    A rhetorical question would be "How far back is far enough?" Remembering that the dune line still had not recovered completely from Opal... If we keep having the big storms more frequently (as we have seen with the Opal, Ivan, Dennis sequence) then north of 30A becomes oceanfront.
     

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