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Sand fence has evloved over the years to be one of the predominate trappers of sand from wind blown erosion. Since the early fifties fencing of sort has been used to accumulate sand. Early uses os discarded christmas tres and cut trees have been replaced by the more commonly found lattice and wire fence. This fencing is regulated by CAMA and requires permitting and installation based on rules and regulations found in Section 6:Permit Exemptions at the following link www.dcm2.enr.state.nc.us/Handbook/section6.htm . Look at the very bottom of this link for information on the installation of sand fence.
If sand fence is installed on your property specific goals should drive the placement of the fence. If you are only interested in sand trapping and dune building placement of the sand fence should maximize sand drop in the disired area. Generally this is going to be about 10 down from the crest of the dune. This will place sand in an area from the toe of the fence back to within 3 to 4 feet of the crest. This will start building the face of the dune and moving the dune seaward building maximum height and depth.
If you needs require movement of the toe of the frontal dune in order to establish vegetation and a frontal vegetation line for CAMA permiting then placement of the sand fence should be as close to the seaward toe of the frontal dune as needed or allowed by CAMA rules and regulations. The maximum allowed for this type of installation is 10 feet from the toe of the existing dune. A lot of factors including luner tdes effect thi so placement in this area of the beach requires some thought and expertise. This placement only works in conjuction with heavy planting and should not be considered without a thorough dune management plan in place.
Sand fence basics :
fence sections should be no longer than 10 feet.
Fence should be placed at a 45 to 90 degree angle to beach.
Back post of fence should be placed into predominate wind.
ALL FENCE MUST BE PERMITED PRIOR TO PLACEMENT ON BEACH
The following picture is an example of sand fence placed forward of the toe of the frontal dune in and effort to add 5 foot to the toe of the dune for re-establishing a front vegetation line for CAMA permiting. This installation occured in January and will be planted in May with warm season plants(sea oats and bitter panicum). The high tide line for this property is approximately 130 feet away and there is plenty of dry blowing sand to be trapped. Once the vegetation is established and reached mature height ( approximately August ) the fencing may be left in place, removed or moved forward if additional dune face is required.
The following picture shows the same area in August of the same year.
As you can see not only did this fence build 2 feet of sand, this picture was taken after overwash occured during a tropical storm. Some areas of this island were escarped 4 feet after that storm!