|Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune|
Lejeune has 11 miles of beach that supports both military and recreational
activities. With so much use, it is
crucial that the Base take efforts to preserve the beach for future military and
recreational activity. Popular recreational
uses of the beach include saltwater
fishing, sunbathing, and shell collecting.
The beach is a fragile but dynamic ecosystem that is home to several
endangered species. Sea
turtles nest on Onslow Beach and the
amaranth, a Federally threatened annual plant, grows on the frontal dunes
and overwash flats. The beach is a
place of change. Hurricanes and
northeasters can move great quantities of sand.
These natural impacts sometimes cause beach erosion, but sometimes they
renourish the beach. Vehicular and
pedestrian traffic, on the other hand tends to be more destructive due to damage
to vegetation. Dune vegetation is
crucial to establishing a healthy dune ecosystem.
Annually in January, the Environmental Conservation Branch sponsors a Dune Restoration effort. In 1999, local Cub Scouts and others picked up trash and staked discarded Christmas trees into the dunes to serve as a type of sand fencing. Only Christmas trees free of tinsel were used, and all the trees came from Base housing units. By the summer of 1999, many of the trees were partially buried, and some were even completely buried. Of course, Hurricanes Dennis, Floyd, and Irene set the dune restoration program back, but Camp Lejeune intends to continue their efforts to restore a healthy dune ecosystem to Onslow Beach.
important to remember that the beach is constantly changing and that some areas
that may seem "unhealthy" (no dunes, lack of vegetation), are formed
by the constant wind and tides that make the beach what it is. Some "unvegetated"
portions of the beach (such as overwash areas) provide vital nesting and
foraging areas for certain birds. Restoration
efforts are focused in areas where man-made structures, and safety are at
risk. Restoration of the beach is not as much of a concern where natural
occurrences take place.
Camp Lejeune also follows guidelines set by the Coastal Area Management Act. By following these guidelines the Base maintains compliance with state regulations for its coastal management program. For more detailed information on CAMA go to http://dcm2.enr.state.nc.us/Rules/rules.htm .
Environmental Management Division
Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune
Installations & Environment Department
Last Updated: August 14, 2002