Friday, December 23, 2016

Gold Award Spotlight: Sand Dune Conservation and Restoration

Dana, a Virginia Beach Girl Scout, has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouting.

For her project, Dana installed sand fencing at Little Island Park in Sandbridge to help conserve and restore the sand dune line that has been damaged over the years by hurricanes and other coastal storms. She worked with the City of Virginia Beach to ensure that the fencing will be maintained until it is buried under the sand, at which point it will help to maintain the dune line.

“I grew up in Virginia Beach, and I have seen coastal storm damage to our local beaches,” Dana said. “Not only will the sand fencing help repair the dune, but it will also help to conserve it against future damage.”

Dana also wanted to educate the public about the importance of erosion control. She conducted research of local beaches to identify which areas would benefit most from erosion control programs. She then developed targeted email campaigns for civic leagues in those areas, in which she included photographs of their beach, a summary comparing erosion control methods and information about the benefits of sand fencing. Her emails went out to coastal residents across the region, including those on the Southside, Peninsula and Eastern Shore.

Over the summer, Dana hosted an informational booth at the Virginia Aquarium, where she was able to teach families from all around the world about the benefits of sand fencing to conserve and repair beaches.

The Gold Award requires girls to identify an issue in the community and carry out a Take Action project to address the matter through leadership work. Nationwide, less than six percent of eligible Girl Scouts earn the Gold Award, which adds Dana to an elite group of female leaders across the country with the honor. In 2016, Girl Scouts are celebrating 100 years of girls changing the world during the centennial year of the Girl Scout Gold Award.