Sand dunes are significant players in the game of healthy coastal environments. While we have fencing around the dunes on Dead Neck Sampson Island for the nesting shorebirds, we also do it to protect the dunes that are protecting the surrounding ecosystem. Have you ever been on a boat in the bays and notice the water on the river smooth but the Nantucket Sound is very choppy? This is because the sand dunes form a natural barrier from destructive winds and storms that come from the ocean and they slow down beach erosion. Without sand dunes, strong high waves from storms could damage beachfront properties and cause flooding inland. Thankfully, the sand dunes here do their job to protect us! We can do our part by keeping trash out of the dunes, not climbing over fencing, and by telling others why sand dunes are so important.