Volunteers help build dunes in Cocoa Beach

The sprouts on the sand in Cocoa Beach may not look like much, but in a couple of years, officials say they'll be a big help for the beach.

"So the dune, over time this area will accumulate sand because the plants are here. Hopefully this area we planted today will look like the surrounding dune that we have here," said Kelsey Mack, Cocoa Beach environmental specialist.

Saturday morning, more than 50 volunteers, like high school student Lukas Roselap, helped plant sea oats in the sand.

"So basically you dig three to six inches, then you put in some of the gel, then you put in the plant and that's it," he said.

The sea oats help anchor the sand in place and build a new dune along the beach. They also help local wildlife, like sea turtles that go there to nest.

"What the sea oats and vegetation provides is a light buffer from the city. They like to nest on dark beaches so having the vegetation helps block that light and they nest here on the beach," Mack said.

Volunteers, like Ryan Dadds, also cleaned-up along the beach.

"Ten buckets," she said, "lots of bottles and cans, candy wrappers, packaging, stuff like that."

This was the 18th sea oat planting they’d done on the beach. Volunteers put in more than a thousand sprouts. They'll be out there planting again on Valentine's Day.

"I'm pretty proud of it," Roselap said, "it's gonna look nice once it starts growing, it's going to protect the dunes. So it's gonna be great."