Coastal sand ecosystems encompass the terrestrial portion of beaches, spits, and dunes in which sand is the dominant substrate. They contain sparsely-vegetated or herbaceous ecological communities, as well as associated forest, wetland, and bluff communities. Coastal sand ecosystems occur at the intersection of marine and terrestrial realms where ecological patterns are structured by geomorphic and oceanographic disturbance processes (e.g., sand movement, wind erosion, tides, storm surges, ocean spray), soil development, local climate, and vegetation succession). Source: Coastal Sand Ecosystem Recovery Team. A number of red-listed communities occur on the South Coast including: northern wormwood - red fescue / grey rock-moss, large-headed sedge Herbaceous Vegetation, dune wildrye - beach pea. Both waterbirds and migratory songbirds are heavily dependent on sand communities for seasonal and year round nesting, foraging and refuge during storms and weather events.
Prepared by Pamela Zevit RPBio and Tamsin Baker. Updated April 2017