Naples Botanical Garden replants dunes
Today (Wednesday) the City of Naples in partnership with the Naples Botanical Garden is replanting dunes at several beach access points near downtown Naples. Reide Corbett, executive director for East Carolina University's integrated coastal program, observes that often, the renourished beach will again wash away, either out to sea or down the coast.
"When beaches erode, it's not just disappearing, it is going somewhere. In many cases, that sand is going back off-shore, leaving that beach compartment. But there's no doubt that there is longshore transport," notes Corbett.
Chad Washburn, the Garden’s vice president of conservation, says planting native plants will help prevent that.
"These are really important for renourishment because they help to keep the sand in place. They help to cut down on our need to renourish our beaches," says Washburn.
City of Naples arborist Heather Shields says the native plants are the best plants to use for this purpose.
"These are the plants that know what they need to do so to speak. They know where they should grow, how they should grow and the protection that they should be offering," says Shields. "Things like our exotic vegetations, they just run rampant and they don't know how to play nice with the other plants. They'll just grow until they choke everything else out, whereas our native plants do know how to live together."
The native plants will also require less maintenance than non-native plants, have aesthetic value, and act as a natural barrier, helping to protect against storm surge and coastal flooding. They also provide important habitat for native wildlife.
The plantings are taking place at Naples beach access locations, including 10th Avenue South, 11th Avenue South and also Broad Avenue South.