Beaches

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Learn about shorebirds at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park May 4

Join Topsail Hill Preserve State Park and the Audubon Society on May 4, 2018 from 10 – 11 a.m. and learn about the shorebirds that nest on and visit the beaches of the Florida Panhandle. This program is free with regular park admission. Topsail Talks is a monthly educational discovery series with presentations from organizations and government agencies from outside the park.  Future dates and topics are “Living Bear-wise” by FWCC on June 15, “Prescribed Fires and the Forest” by...

Sea turtle season in South Walton runs May 1 – October 31

South Walton Turtle Watch watches over our nesting sea turtles According to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, sea turtles are among the oldest creatures on earth, and have remained essentially unchanged for 110 million years. However, they face an uncertain future. Illegal harvesting, habitat encroachment, and pollution (physical and light) are only some of the issues sea turtles face as the beautiful creatures struggle to stay alive. Each year from May – October, there are four species of Florida...

Give nesting waterbirds space to help keep them safe

It’s nesting season for Florida’s waterbirds, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and Audubon Florida are reminding beach goers and boaters to give these birds and their young space to help keep them safe. “This is a critical time of year for nesting birds and their young,” said Craig Faulhaber, avian conservation coordinator for the FWC. “By taking a few simple steps, people can enjoy a day at the beach or on the water without disturbing nesting...

Beach clean up at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park April 21

Join Topsail Hill Preserve State Park for a Beach Cleanup on April 21, 2018 from 9:15 – 11:30 a.m.  Help keep the beach safe for the threatened and endangered species that call the beach home by minimizing the impact of marine debris on the beach and in the Gulf. To register as a beach cleanup volunteer please call 850-267-8330 and provide your name, email address, phone number and number of people coming. Volunteer check in is at Tram Stop #3...

Obey the beach flag warnings

Pay attention to the beach flag warnings – Do not put yourself in danger – with rip currents, everyone is at risk CLICK HERE FOR CURRENT ADVISORY Rip Currents or other hazardous situations exist What is the Beach Flag System? The beach flags provide general warnings about overall surf conditions and do not specifically advise the public of the presence of rip currents. However, increasing awareness of natural conditions which pose a significant risk at the beach, such as rip...

Beautiful railroad vines help protect South Walton beaches

Beautiful plant strengthens sand dunes Always a pleasant sight along South Walton’s beaches, the beautiful blooming railroad vine is also an important protector of our sand dunes. As with the sea oats, the plant helps to stabilize the dunes by rooting at nodes all along its length, and is often planted for that purpose. Each flower opens only once, in the morning, but keep blooming almost all year long, peaking from May through November. The railroad vine (Ipomoea pes-caprae) is...

South Walton sea turtle nesting season May 1 – October 31

 Sea turtles are among the oldest creatures on earth, and have remained essentially unchanged for 110 million years. However, they face an uncertain future. Illegal harvesting, habitat encroachment, and pollution (physical and light) are only some of the issues sea turtles face as the beautiful creatures struggle to survive. Each year from May – October, there are four species of Florida sea turtles that nest along the beach in South Walton County – Loggerhead, Green, Leatherback and Kemps Ridley. Each...

South Walton Fire District lifeguards start 2017 season

14 towers, 5 wheelchair locations South Walton Fire District (SWFD) lifeguards have reported to their 14 tower locations March 1, 2017 and will continue to staff until the end of the season on September 30, 2017. This is the 12th year that SWFD and South Walton Tourist Development Council have partnered to provide the Beach Safety and Education Program. In addition, 2017 marks the 3rd year of partnership between SWFD and Sandestin Owners Association (SOA) and the 1st year between...

Portuguese man-of-war can pack a powerful punch

Don’t touch or come in contact with the blue “bubbles” that wash on shore Many interesting things wash ashore along the beaches of South Walton. Often we find interesting creatures within the beach wrack and the tide often washes in beautiful seashells. However, there is one creature, the Portuguese Man o’ War (Physalia physalis), also known as man-of-war, or bluebottle that is not a fun critter to come in contact with. Although spectacular to behold with its blue “bubble,” it...

Learn to surf fish at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park Sept. 8

Date/time: Thurs., Sept. 8 – 9 -11 a.m. Topsail Hill Preserve State Park invites you to learn how to fish from the beach here at Topsail Hill Preserve. Fishing is a great way to enjoy the outdoors, have some fun, and catch a tasty meal. Many people first learned to fish by having an experienced angler take them fishing. Unfortunately not every person that would like to try fishing knows someone that can teach the basics. Regardless of how much...

Learn surf fishing at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park Aug. 11

Date/Time: August 11th, 9-10 a.m. Topsail Hill Preserve State Park invites you to learn how to fish from the beach.  Fishing is a great way to enjoy the outdoors, have some fun, and catch a tasty meal. Many people first learned to fish by having an experienced angler take them fishing. Unfortunately not every person that would like to try fishing knows someone that can teach them the basics. Regardless of how much help a fisherman was given, everyone had...