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BBF announced 2024 as the Year of Living Sands!

Jan. 01, 2024
Before the dunes became a byword for hotel complexes and restaurants, they were an oasis of biodiversity on the border between sea and forest. The dunes are still alive in the few places along our Black Sea that have not been plowed and concreted.

Dunes are not just a pile of sand. They are an amazing natural complex, the result of the continuous interaction of the sea, sand, wind and living nature.

The waves push the sand up towards the beach, then it moves around the shore and forms dunes with the help of the wind. If there are obstacles on the shore, the larger grains of sand will be deposited in front of them and pushed up, while the smaller grains are deposited behind the obstacles. As this process continues, sand ridges build up, becoming taller and more extensive over time. The stronger the wind and the more powerful the winter sea storms - the higher the dunes! As the wind is always changing, the dunes are also always changing, growing and shifting…

They can protect habitats but also man and his activities from coastal flooding and the most violent winds. They also help stop or slow beach erosion; when sand settles into the dunes faster than it washes off the beach, it is "stored" and helps maintain the strip in the future. Healthy dunes provide habitats for rare and fascinating wildlife such as amphibians, reptiles, insects, birds and amazing plants that need the shifting sand or dune shelters to survive! Most of the dune dwellers are so adapted to the harsh conditions of the sands that they cannot live outside them.

They are the transition of the marine ecosystem to the land and their health is of particular importance for the condition of the remaining coastal habitats.

Well-preserved dunes like those in the Arcutino area support a whole complex of adjacent habitats. The lagoons and habitats of the salt marsh at the mouth of the Ropotamo River, the water lily marsh, the longose forests and others would not be preserved if this dune was not protected and included within the boundary of the Ropotamo Reserve. In this way, the integrity of the entire ecosystem is ensured and its functioning is guaranteed.


We, from the Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation, have been working for many years to protect these valuable habitats and the species that depend on them. We are determined to continue our work this year by transferring good practices that have resulted in dune conservation elsewhere in the world, along our coasts, and by informing the public of their enormous importance and vulnerability!

In order for all this to happen successfully, we also started a fundraising campaign, part of which is our calendar with a cause, which in 2024 is dedicated to the Living Sands.
If you also want to help protect the Living Sands - you can make a donation using some of the methods described on the site!