Not entirely visible to the untrained eye – my 100th post

Pyla Dune in France - Europe's largest dune and strategically capitalises on a huge dune tourism market.

Pyla Dune in France – Europe’s largest dune and strategically capitalises on a huge dune tourism market.

Google Alerts for all things coastal that I am interested in pop into my Gmail Inbox at 3pm everyday. I have become accustomed to deleting some of them, which I should probably change the relevancy. Though, the ‘dunes’ alert is a must read for me. I’ve been following many interesting stories about dunes for some time now – west coast of Africa sand dune mining, Cornwall Beach Christmas Tree/ Sand Building Project, east coast of the USA beach restoration after Hurricane Sandy and the other day… dune awareness and issues along the Bay of Bengal. 

I am delighted to share the dune awareness and issues along the Bay of Bengal story with you – as it is my 100th post! It really is a must read. For instance, I immediately imagined myself being the woman who jumped to action and stopped a tractor levelling out the dune. 

“There is this apocryphal story: a woman activist happened to spot a tractor levelling a mound on Elliot’s beach. Jumping into action, she climbed into the machine, pulled the ignition key out and flung it far into the Bay of Bengal. Turning to the stunned driver she said the “bump” he wanted to flatten was actually a sand-dune; it stopped seawater from entering the land. The mound has since survived.”

And then the scientists role to raise awareness of the importance of dunes – that they are not just mounds of sand with scrappy looking plants. I love how the article beautifully highlights how coastal control structures like seawalls and groynes interfere with natural coastal processes and then finishes with – “here, a range of hilly sand-dunes breaks the salty breeze to create an agricultural Eden on its landward side”. 

I seem to be a magnet for coastal management wherever I am. Everyone has a beach story and an idea to help the beach. Some are big and scary while others are simple and sensible! 

What this article clearly highlights is that dunes are important and most of the benefits to coastal settlements are not entirely visible to the untrained eye.