FL - Little Nana Dune in Historic Black Community Saved for Conservation

The North Florida Land Trust announced the purchase of three plots of land that are part of the Little NaNa Dune system.

NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. — People are uniting to save a dune in a historic Black community.

The NaNa Dune System in Nassau County is the tallest on Florida’s coastline. It overlooks a beach that was one of few stretches of ocean that welcomed Black families throughout segregation and the Jim Crow era.

Little NaNa Dune, once a part of that dune system, was on the chopping block. Conservation groups are uniting to save the dune.

Longtime residents and leaders of community groups say the purchase of the Little NaNa Dune honors the legacy of someone who dedicated her whole life to conserving the beach and its natural dunes.

The sound of the wind and the ocean reminds Pastor Carlton Jones, who has lived in American Beach for 15 years, of the sounds of MaVynee Betsch.

The world-renowned opera singer is more commonly known here as The Beach Lady.

“She’s really still bigger than life,” Jones said.

Jones is president of the group Friends of American Beach, one of several conservation groups in the area.

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