Roughly 300 volunteers showed up in Mexico Beach last week to assist in a project to help restore the shoreline dune systems.

The volunteers spent roughly four hours planting 15,000 sea oats along the coastline to help restore dune habitat and prevent erosion.

The event coincided with the June 1 start of the hurricane season.

The project was collaboration between the city of Mexico Beach and Duke Energy Foundation, which has invested $150,000 to assist the city recover from the impacts of Hurricane Michael.

According to Duke Foundation officials, the sea oat planting is the jumping off point for a longer-term project to build the city back stronger.

In the coming months, the city, with help from Dune Energy, will be adding new landscaping to city parks using native plants to help attract pollinators and restore the natural environment. --- Tim Croft