You don’t really think about Tybee’s sand dunes as you struggle with your cooler, umbrella, chairs, and screaming kids desperate to stick their toes in the water. It really is just a mound of sand between you and where you want to go. I am about to unleash an eye opener for you: Tybee’s sand dunes are more than just a hill to navigate. They protect our little piece of paradise from storm winds and waves. Looking at the last several years of hurricanes and storms, those mounds of sand have become more important than ever before.
Back in August, 2018, I had a chance to sit down with Cathy Lewis and Sam Adams of the Tybee Beach Task Force Committee and learned a few things about our mounds of sand, or lack thereof, after Irma came a visiting. Let me give you a brief history: We have had sand fencing for many, many years. This fencing captures sand blown up into the dunes from the beach and deposits it in place with the help of specific plants. Due to Irma literally kicking Tybee’s ass, most of our precious dunes disappeared into the nether world. The TBTFC got together and came up with a plan – a differently patterned fence design that will collect the sand naturally, no matter which way the wind blows. With the last fence pattern only collecting the sand when the wind blew out of the northeast, it was really quite a concept.