Beaches

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Wheelchairs available at five South Walton beach accesses

High tech chairs offer beach enjoyment for mobility challenged Being mobility challenged can be frustrating, especially when one wants to enjoy our beautiful beaches in South Walton. However, five South Walton Fire District Lifeguard Stations offer beach wheelchairs for public use, making access much easier. This service is offered at no charge through a partnership between South Walton Fire District (SWFD) and the Walton County Tourist Development Council. The beach wheelchairs are located at the following accesses from west to...

Gov. Scott takes executive action to protect access to Florida beaches

Gov. signs executive order calling on counties to not limit access to Beaches TALLAHASSEE, Fla. July 12, 2018 – Governor Rick Scott today issued Executive Order 18-202, which urges Florida counties to protect public beach access and directs the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to support these efforts. The executive order specifically calls on counties to not limit access to beaches. In March, Governor Scott signed HB 631, sponsored by Senator Kathleen Passidomo (R-Naples) and Representative Katie Edwards–Walpole (D-Sunrise), which passed the Florida Legislature with...

Health advisory issued for Grayton Beach

The Florida Department of Health in Walton County (DOH-Walton) conducts regularly scheduled saltwater beach water quality monitoring at seven sites through the Healthy Beaches Monitoring Program. Samples are collected from March through the end of October. The water samples are analyzed for enteric bacteria (enterococci) that normally inhabit the intestinal tract of humans and animals, which may cause human disease, infections, or rashes. The presence of enteric bacteria is an indication of fecal pollution, which may come from storm water...

Federal lawsuit could bar public from beaches and recreation areas

From the Walton County Public Information Office A federal lawsuit, filed on behalf of a beachfront homeowner, attempts to block Walton County, Florida’s efforts to legally recognize customary use, or the public’s long standing right to use the beaches for recreational purposes. This lawsuit has national implications and, if successful, could deny the public’s traditional right to use recreational sites throughout the United States. Walton County takes this threat very seriously, and is prepared to aggressively defend customary use and...

Health advisory issued for Dune Allen and Blue Mountain Beach

The Florida Department of Health in Walton County (DOH-Walton) conducts regularly scheduled saltwater beach water quality monitoring at seven sites through the Healthy Beaches Monitoring Program. Samples are collected from March through the end of October. The water samples are analyzed for enteric bacteria (enterococci) that normally inhabit the intestinal tract of humans and animals, which may cause human disease, infections, or rashes. The presence of enteric bacteria is an indication of fecal pollution, which may come from storm water...

Free admission to Grayton Beach and Topsail Hill Preserve State Parks through Labor Day

Regular day-use admission fees have been waived for public entrance to Topsail Hill Preserve State Park and Grayton Beach State Park through a reimbursement program administered by Visit South Walton (VSW). The program is in effect May 25 – September 3, 2018. Topsail Hill Preserve State Park is located at 7525 W. Scenic Highway 30A, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida 32459. For more information, call (850) 267-8330. ::MAP:: Grayton Beach State Park is located in Walton County, South of U.S. 98...

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...

Learn about coastal species at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park April 20

Join the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to learn about animal species that live or nest along the Gulf Coast at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park. The event will be held Friday, April 20, from 10 – 11 a.m. Topsail Talks is a monthly educational discovery series with presentations from organizations and government agencies from outside the park. Future dates and topics are “Shorebirds” by Audubon Society on May 4, “Bears” by FWCC on June 15 and “Prescribed Fires and...

Gulf coast lupine blooms along South Walton area beaches

Beautiful blue shrub a welcomed sight In the springtime, sand dunes along the beaches in South Walton are dolloped with beautiful blue lupine. The gulf coast lupine (Lupinus westianus) is a native plant and endemic to Northwest Florida. Lupine habitats are sand hills, scrubs and coastal dunes. This particluar perennial shrub is only found in a few counties with Walton fortunate enough to be one of them. The beautiful blue flowers provide a delicate lavender-like scent. Early settlers to the...

Cultural Arts Alliance selects designs for underwater museum of art

The Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County (CAA) and South Walton Artificial Reef Association (SWARA) are proud to reveal seven sculpture designs selected by jury for permanent exhibition in the first installation of the Underwater Museum of Art (UMA). The 2018 Spring/Summer installation will include the following sculpture: “Propeller in Motion” by Marek Anthony, “Self Portrait” by Justin Gaffrey, “The Grayt Pineapple” by Rachel Herring, “JYC’s Dream” by Kevin Reilly in collaboration with students from South Walton Montessori School, “SWARA...

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...