The Province Lands
The spectacular dune landscape of the Province Lands has a complex history. It is primarily the result of deposition of sand that has washed from the eroded glacial scarp, subsequently built into dunes by wind action, and stabilized by beach grass.
Beach grass revegetation efforts can be seen throughout the Province Lands. The dunes were forested once, but land use practices of European settlers denuded the dunes thus allowing widespread migration of sand. Efforts were initiated in the early 1800’s to stabilize the dunes with vegetation. In Pilgrim times they had been forested and covered by a foot of soil. The National Park Service has continued to stabilize dunes with native beach grass planting, a program which was started shortly after the establishment of Cape Cod National Seashore in 1961.
excerpt taken from the Guide’s Guide — National Park Service – Cape Cod National Seashore