Dune restoration wrapped up on September 1. The storm hit just nine days later. Sea oats take about a year to fully grow into their root system to hold the sand together; thankfully the storm didn't rip them up.
More than 600,000 sea oats were planted along the 6.5 miles of shoreline from Mayport down to Jacksonville Beach. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers started dune restoration after Hurricane Matthew when the storm tore the dunes away and sent a torrent of water down 6th Street.
Thankfully, the storm came at the dunes from land, instead of the Atlantic, like Matthew did 11 months before.
What really helped? The dunes were given an extra 500,000 cubic yards of sand in front of them to help stop the water. It looks to have worked!
The beach is ok pic.twitter.com/a4fBmeDN62— Tim Deegan (@fcntim) September 11, 2017