Sand Fence Guidelines



Sand fencing can be an effective tool for rebuilding sand dunes while minimizing impacts to nesting marine turtles.  The types of sand fencing vary.  Standard fencing usually consists of wooden slats wired together with space between the slats.  Segments of fencing are supported by posts.  The use of woven fabric type fencing has also been successfully used in dune restoration projects.  However, it is important that whatever material is used, the fencing must contain a 40% to 60% open space to closed space ratio.  It should also be noted that fabric type fences may not perform as well as the wooden slats.  Many fabric type fences are susceptible to ultraviolet degradation which causes the material to become brittle and deteriorate and may sag and lose the original shape, thus reducing performance.  However with sufficient maintenance, this problem can be reduced or avoided.

In order to maximize the benefits of sand fencing, routine maintenance and adjustments are required.  It is necessary to lift or reposition the fences frequently.  If sand is allowed to accumulate without raising or repositioning the fence, the fence will not only be difficult to remove, it will lose its ability to collect sand.  It is recommended that the fence be repositioned prior to the fence becoming 50% buried.

Due to the limited benefits and the potential for adverse impacts in high density marine turtle nesting beaches, sand fencing shall not be permitted in the following areas unless it is in conjunction with a large beach or dune restoration effort; Southeast Coast: Brevard County through Monroe County and the Southwest Coast: Manatee County through Collier County.

Individual sand fencing projects that exceed 500 feet in length, shore-parallel shall not be permitted without consultation with the Bureau of Protected Species Management.

Sand fences are usually 2 to 4 feet high.  Sand fencing located seaward of the crest of the primary dune shall be designed and installed as follows: a maximum of ten (10) foot long spurs of sand fencing spaced at a minimum of seven (7) feet on a diagonal alignment (facing the predominate wind direction) for the shore-parallel coverage of the subject property.  Alternative sand fence designs shall require pre-approval from the Bureau of Protected Species Management.

If the primary reason for sand fencing is to control pedestrian access, a post and rope fence with a single strand of rope at a minimum of three feet in height may be used to prevent human intrusion into existing dunes or vegetation.  Where a demonstrated need is identified, the installation of post and rope fences in Brevard through Broward County may be permitted.


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