St. Augustine Beach fighting beach erosion with sea oats

City leaders say oats will help sand stand up to hurricane winds

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – The city of St. Augustine Beach is taking new steps to fight beach erosion by planting sea oats. City officials said they will plant sea oats from 10th Street to 8th Street.

Mayor Undine George said she hopes this will keep the dunes in place and prevent the sand from blowing away.  

“It’s going to save our sand,” George said. “You can look at any one of the hurricanes that we’ve had over the last couple of years and there’s a substantial difference between before and after based on whether or not there are sea oats that have shored up the foundation of our sand dunes. It’s quite obvious the benefit is substantial.”

Janet Diaz told News4Jax she’s lived near the beaches for several years, and the sea oats help during major storms. She said planting more is a good thing for residents and visitors. 

“The beaches are what brings people to St. Augustine. That’s what we love; that’s our lifestyle. We want to preserve it as long as we can,” Diaz said. 

George said the project is estimated to cost about $100,000. She said the city has budgeted for the project, but they are hoping the county or the state will provide some funding. She said the St. Augustine Port, Waterway and Beach District could commit $25,000. 

The project is expected to start in February or March and be completed by turtle nesting season in May.

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