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Skip Navigation LinksDNREC : Division of Watershed Stewardship : Shoreline and Waterway Management

Keep Off the Dunes and Beach Grass


Beach grass helps to build and stabilize dunes. Blades of grass help trap windblown sand which helps dunes build in width and height. Beach grass has thick brittle stalks that can be easily broken and killed by pedestrian or vehicular traffic.

To promote new dune growth and to help protect inland properties from the ravages or flood waters, pedestrians and vehicles are prohibited from crossing the dunes in all but designated areas.

Help conserve Delaware’s beaches by telling friends and family about the importance of beach grass and reminding them to stay off of the dunes. 

It’s also the law:
Section 3.03 of the Regulations Governing Beach Protection and the Use of Beaches prohibits the operation of any motorized vehicle or machine and pedestrian traffic on, over or across the primary dune on any State-owned beach except at those locations specified by the Department for such use. The regulations also prohibit the damaging, destruction or removal of any trees, shrubbery, beach grass or other vegetation growing on any State-owned or maintained beach seaward of the building line.

What happens if you break the law?
Upon conviction, you could be fined not less than $200 nor more than $5,000, or imprisoned for not more than 2 years, or both. In addition, you could ordered to reimburse DNREC for its reasonable expenditures in remedying damage that was done.

And if for no other reason, dunes tend to be habitat for ticks and poison ivy. By staying out of the dunes, you can avoid getting itchy rashes or worse, Lyme Disease!

Thank you for your help in preserving Delaware's Coastal Dunes!

For more information on dunes, click here.



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