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Brownbag Presentation
March 29th, 2022
Brownbag will be held at the Susan Shipman Environmental Learning Center @ GADNR Coastal Regional Headquarters; One Conservation Way, Brunswick, GA 31520
Please join the GA Coastal Management Program for a Brownbag Presentation from Shannon Matzke, a GA Sea Grant State Fellow at GADNR Coastal Resources Division, on Evaluating Best Practices in Dune Restoration: Vegetation Research and Monitoring on Tybee Island, Georgia.
Coastal communities are developing rapidly in the face of increased risks of sea level rise and hurricanes stemming from anthropogenic climate change. In the US, erosion is projected to cost $530 million/year in property loss, but beaches and dune systems can minimize these losses. Dunes are vital to coastal protection, particularly when they are colonized by native plant species that stabilize sand with their root systems and accumulate sand by trapping particles with their stems and leaves. Dune construction can be used as a nature-based solution to climate change, but more studies are needed to fully understand the best practices that should be associated with vegetating constructed dunes.
To gain more insight into dune restoration, a Coastal Incentive Grant funded team from Georgia Southern and Tybee Island conducted a 15 month study on Tybee Island, GA, the site of new dune construction. They examined the effects of planting density on plant survival and growth and on sand accretion, and they compared accretion rates to those on pre-existing dunes on Tybee and unvegetated sites on the constructed dune.
While specific restoration strategies must be viewed through the lens of management goals, the team’s findings are consistent with the literature and have proven to work well on Tybee Island. The results of this study provide a framework both to future restoration projects on Tybee and to those taking place in other coastal communities.
Speaker Bio: Shannon is a 2021 Sea Grant State fellow working with GADNR Coastal Resources Division (CRD) in the Coastal Management Program. She graduated with a Master’s degree in Biology from Georgia Southern in December and is currently working on Green Growth initiatives for CRD.
Please contact Kelly Hill at with any questions.