Our Happy Waves Home was bought specifically for its location, just a 100 meters to the beautiful Lower Point Beach.  Nothing can compare to a relaxing walk along the beach overlooking some of the best waves in the country on one side, and small dunes on the other often covered with typical JBay flora.

Behind the beauty of these dunes is the “science” of dunes; it is not just a mound of sand that skirts the sea. Coastal processes form dunes with the wind, waves and vegetation all playing a role in their formation.

Unfortunately, dunes can be “damaged” too, this can be due to natural processes, such as extraordinary floods or waves etc., and damage caused by human activities.  In addition, alien vegetation can also damage the natural dunes. Furthermore, people have also damaged dunes by driving over them with their vehicles and bicycles. These activities remove the natural vegetation on the dunes. So do roaming dogs and other animals.

Sadly, there is a severe lack of awareness about the roles and functions of our coastal dunes. If we do not start rehabilitating and projecting them, our coastal communities, with climate change, will destroy our sites of beauty and enjoyment.

Dunes are natural windbreaks as they help protect against coastal erosion and wave flooding further landward. Therefore, rehabilitation projects and initiatives must start forming on our coastlines.

Some rehabilitation efforts have included the removal of alien vegetation on the dunes (alien plants are very aggressive and displace the natural vegetation). Alien vegetation needs to be removed manually (using chemicals will defeat the purpose). The natural vegetation then needs to regenerate on the dunes, undisturbed by human feet and wheels of vehicles and bicycles.

Other ways to help rehabilitation efforts include creating awareness of these at-risk areas. For instance, along the J-Bay beaches, you might come across notices like the one in the photograph: “SENSITIVE AREA PLEASE KEEP OFF DUNES – BY JBAY LOCAL SURFERS”

One of the advantages of having a worldwide pandemic is that people have been restricted in their movements, and natural areas have been “protected” from the damage that people cause. Our dunes have also had a break from the damage caused by tourists and residents alike.

Locals and tourists can work in unison to preserve and protect our picturesque natural dunes and ecosystems; for our generation, as well as future generations’ enjoyment. We should heed the request of our locals to stay off the dunes. Our dunes are fragile as we try to re-establish and preserve the local micro-ecosystems. Everyone can make a difference and contribute by paying attention and being mindful of their movements.

While visiting, please relish our Happy Waves Holiday Home in combination with our lovely beaches and dunes. In doing so, you will contribute to the conservation of our precious inheritance. That is something to be proud of.