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Palm Coast Monday, Jun. 26, 2017 1 year ago

TDC proposes sea dune conservation awareness campaign as beach-goers trample storm-weakened dunes

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With walkovers washed away, beachgoers have been walking over fragile sea dunes in Flagler Beach, contributing to damage caused by Hurricane Matthew.
by: Jonathan Simmons News Editor

As the Flagler Beach community and the county government push to reinforce sand dunes damaged by Hurricane Matthew, they've encountered a problem: Locals and visitors, lacking dune walkovers that were washed away in the storm, have been tramping straight over the dunes on their way to the beach.

That causes further damage. Walking over and parking on the dunes is illegal. But there isn't enough signage in many areas to alert tourists, and that makes it hard for Flagler Beach Police Department officers to issue tickets, even when they catch beachgoers in the act.

The Tourist Development Council is stepping in with a proposal for an education campaign called "Dodge the Dunes."

"We wanted to create a beach messaging campaign," TDC Director of Tourism Marketing Amy Lukasik said at a June 22 Flagler Beach City Commission meeting. "The goal of the campaign is ... to educate about the importance of beach renourishment, conservation and sand dune preservation."

The TDC has several ideas: Creating educational magnets with beach do's and don'ts, for distribution at area hotels that would place them on hotel room fridges; printing window and door cling-ons for local businesses' windows; printing bumper stickers; and printing brochures and adding the web address of an educational website to the graphic material.

The Brandon Agency, an advertising and marketing agency based in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, came up with designs for the printed materials, and the TDC is in the process of getting quotes on producing them, Lukasik said. 

Money for the awareness campaign would come out of the TDC's promotional fund, Lukasik said.

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