Dune erosion occurs when wind blows sand off of the dunes. How can it be prevented? By keeping the wind away from the sand -- something that American beachgrass does very well. Unfortunately, beachgrass is easily killed when people walk across the dunes. When beachgrass dies, the wind is able to blow away the sand, creating dune blowouts like the one shown in this photo. 

Why is this a problem? Sand from the blowouts filters into inland wetlands once protected from coastal winds by the dunes. As the wetlands fill with sand, valuable habitat for wildlife disappears.

Click here to see how dune erosion occurs!