As glaciers melt and warming seawater expands, rising sea levels increase the risk of flooding along all coastal areas, specifically during storms. Naturally occurring accumulations of sand in ridges or mounds along costal areas are important first line of defense against storm damage, and do much to reduce losses to inland coastal development and ecological features. Sand fencing can be an important first line of defense in preserving dunes, as well as mitigating foot-traffic, reducing stressors to these fragile ecosystem.
Many shoreline communities recognize the benefits of preserving the natural costal features that dune systems provide. Rather than pursuing expensive engineering options or beach replenishment programs to address dune vulnerability, planting beach grasses and installing and maintaining sand fences can help keep them protected. Sand fencing helps capture and hold wind-blown sand and as well as redirect pedestrian traffic away from fragile dune vegetation.
In blizzard country, snowdrifts form wherever wind slows down. The basics of controlling snowdrifts requires slowing the wind. It is possible to reduce or eliminate a problem snowdrift in a road cut, for example, by using snow fencing upwind, thus slowing the wind and allowing snow to accumulate.