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Without our dunes we’re defenseless

Without our dunes we’re defenseless

Updated 24 September 2019 11:56am

Dunes provide a vital natural buffer against wind and storm surges.

Our plants and vegetation hold our dunes together. Vehicles driving over or near to sand dunes means plant and root systems are crushed, causing severe erosion over time.

Changes to the soil structure from vehicles driving over beaches mean dunes literally fall away. It also means increased vulnerability to wind erosion.

Direct impacts on soil structure include:

  • Increased soil densities
  • Reduction of soil moisture
  • Greatly reduced infiltration
  • Reduction of organic carbon by an average 33% in exposed soils

Source: Coastal Restoration Trust New Zealand.

“As a Critically Endangered habitat that supports a number of threatened plant and animal species as well as providing protection to our coastal infrastructure, dune communities are at risk from uncontrolled use, particularly by vehicles.”

– Roger Uys, Senior Environmental Scientist at Greater Wellington Regional Council

What you can do
  • Before driving to the beach check the car parking options
  • Consider how to carry your equipment from your car to the beach and whether you need any more bags or chilly bins before you leave
  • Ask yourself when you arrive – do I really need to drive on the beach?
  • If there’s really a need to drive onto the beach, check the areas where this is a permitted activity on this map and be sure to use the correct access road