Dune Master Plan

Lauderdale-By-The-Sea's beaches and dunes are a valuable resource and serve several functions, including supporting nesting marine sea turtles, foraging/nesting shore birds, migratory birds, and habitat for other native plants and animals.

Native plants provide essential habitat and food for many species of wildlife, including endangered species. They also support the internal stabilization of the dune, which are a community’s first line of defense from flooding, waves and storm surge. A natural barrier to coastal storms and erosion, healthy dunes provide a measure of protection for upland properties.

Here are two examples:

Cow Pea

Cow Pea

Cow Pea (Vigna luteola)

  • Can grow in nutrient-poor soils or soils with some organic content
  • Does not tolerate long-term flooding by salt or brackish water
  • Tolerates significant salt wind without injury, but usually is somewhat protected
  • High drought tolerance: does not require any supplemental water once established
  • Flower: Yellow/All year

Wildlife and Ecology: Larval host plant for cassius blue (Leptotes cassius), dorantes longtail (Urbanus dorantes), gray hairstreak (Strymon melinus), and long-tailed skipper (Urbanus proteus) butterflies. Nectar source for gray hairstreak.

Source: Institute for Regional Conservation


Railroad Vine

Railroad Vine

Railroad Vine (Ipomoea pes-caprae subsp. brasiliensis)

  • Grows in nutrient-poor soils
  • Tolerates brackish water or occasional inundation by saltwater
  • Grows in unconsolidated substrate in direct salt wind and spray
  • High drought tolerance
  • Flower: Pink to reddish-purple/2-3 inches wide/All year

Wildlife and Ecology: One of the most important beach pioneer species. Nectar plant for butterflies.

Source: Institute for Regional Conservation

Environmental Challenges

To address the environmental challenges facing our small seaside community, the Town has allocated $75,000 in the FY 2021 Capital Improvement Budget and has selected Moffatt & Nichol to develop the Dune Master Plan. We also received a $30,000 grant from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Constant beach erosion, sea level rise, hurricanes, and other severe storms pose an ongoing threat to the Town’s 2.4 miles of coastline. A Dune Master Plan will allow Lauderdale-By-The-Sea to implement a coastal defense strategy to protect our beaches and the recreational opportunities they provide to residents and visitors alike. Unlike many coastal cities, the Town has an extensive and ongoing sea oats/dune program.

On October 25, 2022, a representative from Moffatt & Nichol presented the Dune Restoration and Creation Plan to the Town Commission for consideration.

Click here to view the presentation Moffatt & Nichol gave to the Town Commission.

When Hurricane Irma struck Florida in September 2017, the Town's dunes (see pictures below) captured tons of windblown sand that would have otherwise ended up on our streets or on the beachfront properties that line our shoreline.

Post Irma 4