How (And Why) to Build a Dune In one Jersey Shore community, the sand stood up to Sandy. By Jen A. Miller, in South Seaside Park, New Jersey, for National Geographic PUBLISHED September 01, 2013 0 Temporary dunes were built to protect homes in Ortley Beach, New Jersey after Superstorm Sandy. Photgraph by Lucas Jackson, Reuters A dune in the right place at the right time is a very powerful thing. More than just hills of sand, dunes can be a beach town's first line of defense against storms and erosion. That's why some coastal communities are encouraging their growth. Related Stories Searching for Clues to Mystery of Ancient Americans How 'Crisis Mapping' Is Shaping Disaster Relief in Nepal How Did a Coyote End Up on a Roof in New York City?