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Take Our Mangrove & Dune Survey

September 8, 2023

Last year, Hurricane Ian left behind catastrophic property damage in Southwest Florida — but did mangroves and coastal dunes lessen the impact? 

SCCF wants to learn more about how much damage may have been reduced where coastal property owners’ and renters’ homes and businesses were protected by mangroves or coastal dunes. We’ve created a short survey for those who rent or own property close to the shoreline. The survey should not take more than 10 minutes to complete.

The Story Behind the Survey

Among the many services they provide, mangroves and coastal dunes serve as a natural defense against storms. Despite the sheer magnitude of the wind, waves, and water that Hurricane Ian introduced to Southwest Florida last fall, SCCF has heard of many instances where coastal property owners believe things would have significantly been worse if they did not have a dune or mangroves between them and the onrushing storm.     

SCCF’s Pfeifer Fellow, Professor Emeritus Thomas T. Ankersen from the University of Florida Levin College of Law, and SCCF Coastal Resilience Manager Carrie Schuman, Ph.D., created the short survey for coastal property owners to share details about how their property fared. 

“The scientific literature contains a lot of data and analysis suggesting the importance of mangroves and dunes in protecting property, but very little of it focuses on individual properties,” Ankersen said. 
“Beyond protection from wind, waves, and water, mangroves trap debris which could otherwise inflict additional damage. Hopefully we can get some sense of the contributions of these natural systems to coastal property protection.”

“When we talk about building back more resiliently, we want the conversation to include building back our natural infrastructure,” Schuman said.


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