saving dunes with science
call us 1-866-45DUNES
follow us

Coastal Engineer, Scientist and Consultants

The Dune Science Group lives on its commitment as a coastal engineer to help preserve and restore northeast Florida and southeast Georgia coastlines to be as protective and productive as possible to the people, animals and plants who call them home despite the enormous pressures put on coastal dune ecosystems by tropical storms, climate change and human desire to enjoy our beaches.  We concentrate in two areas: employing natural and nature-based processes in the restoration and protection of the coastal dunes and providing the most cost effective, environmental friendly beach and water access structures to protect these system without slowing enjoyment of the coast.

We fully respect and appreciate that there are many other coastal engineer professionals who share our commitment to the coast, other experts who specialize in everything from beach nourishment, sand bypassing, artificial dune construction – including strengthening with an engineered core – and those who restore dunes using methods similar to the Dune Science Group. With so much work needed to be done on the coast, we don’t view our colleagues as competitors, but as potential partners and collaborators to help clients best achieve their goals. 

Dunes at the Ritz Carlton Amelia Island
Dunes at the Ritz Carlton Amelia Island

We welcome the opportunity to work with like-minded individuals and groups in these areas:

Dune Walkovers (and marsh walkovers)

Dune Science Group has distinguished itself through our understanding of economical and user-friendly options beach accesses. Our walkover designs rely on fiberglass and fiberglass-reinforced components that are 100% free of wood and wood fibers. The materials we specify have numerous advantages over pressure-treated wood including the high strength-to-weight ratio of fiberglass. Fiberglass is also inert, helping all of the components we specify to achieve a 50-year-plus lifespan, even under the harsh conditions of a beach and marsh, all without requiring saturation with arsenic and other toxins to extend its life as is the case with pressure-treated lumber. These toxins can find their way into the dune and water supply both during installation and during the laborious annual maintenance required by these structures. 

Our materials require little or no maintenance during their life, including no recoating. Our designs have decking that does not warp or sprinter. We use only 316 stainless steel to give long life for connectors. We only specify materials with low thermal expansion to prevent “thermal working and breaking” of components at connectors.

“Fiberglass” might sound industrial, but in reality, Dune Science Group specifies walkover materials with wood grain finishes that look like wooden walkovers while maintaining all of the advantages of our engineered materials which resist ultraviolet rays on decking and railings. Our materials are further developed to reduce the slipperiness of wet decking. We also take advantage of heat-reflective skin coat additives on decks and railing to reduce burning of tender skin on a hot summer days.  

Rendering of engineered dune walkover
Rendering of engineered dune walkover

A variety of color options are available, colors that hold up even in the strongest UV and salt air exposures.

The Dune Science Group welcomes the opportunity to partner with those needing to provide safe, convenient access to the beach or water for their clients.  We are prepared to provide them turnkey or we can design and manufacture the structures for installation by others.

Dune Restoration and Dune Enhancement

Once sediment (sand) is in place in existing dunes or built into an artificial dune, the Dune Science Group is prepared to take the next step in naturally protecting and enhancing coastal sand dunes through our customized native dune vegetation designs. We rely exclusively on plants native to the dunes and beaches we work on to achieve our customer’s goals of greater protection and resiliency from storms, flooding and sea level rise. 

We do employ, as necessary, other proven and permitted methods for coastal sand dune restoration including sand fencing, but we prefer to move to native vegetation as soon and completely as possible. Our research and personal experience has informed us that a dune is stronger, more aesthetically pleasing and serves a greater ecosystem benefit at the lowest cost available when restored with an emphasis on native plants. 

Sea oates are part of a healthy and natural dune restoration
Sea oates are part of a healthy and natural dune restoration

Collaboration is key 

The Dune Science Group name reflects our characteristics. We focus on coastal dune restoration, relying heavily on science and research. We flourish in a community of similarly aligned organizations believing our customers may often best be served by us working collaboratively with other coastal engineer professional trying to achieve the same goals. We welcome inquiries from other coastal engineer firms and consultants to identify how we can collaborate on current or future projects important to the coast and our clients.