SEASIDE, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - A local beach community is giving its shoreline a facelift.
Seaside is in the middle of a massive project aimed at restoring its sand dunes that will not only beautify the beach but protect it as well.
Known for its sugar white sand and rolling coastal dunes, Northwest Florida's sandy mountains are not only beautiful, they're also important.
"If the dunes system washes away, it's the first thing stopping everything else on the beach from falling in," said Seaside Director of Property Management Trey Dorsey.
The town's latest investment works to build up and replenish the area's dunes in four phases.
First, workers clean up old vegetation, then install fencing and finally add more native plants to hold and collect sand.
"Hopefully, within a five year period, we'll see another dune in front of the dunes which will just lend another barrier of protection," Seaside Director of Public Relations and Marketing Lori Smith said.
As the wind blows, the fences help catch the sand and build up the sand dunes.
"We've only had the sand fencing in place for two weeks and we've had some pretty good winds this week and we're starting to see the fence already starting to catch the sand to create that dune in front of our primary dunes," Dorsey said.
"It's just a very fragile area and we want to make sure we protect it for years to come," Smith added.
Seaside leaders say they hope other nearby communities will follow their lead in doing more to protect dunes.
"We are fully vested, believe me, and we just hope to be a forerunner in others doing the same," Smith said.
"It's our first line of defense and we can't afford to lose them," Dorsey added.
Seaside officials said they hope to have the initial project completed within the next 90 days.
They said the last time a re-nourishment project took place in seaside was in 2006.