Beaches, Sea Turtles, and Limos. Oh My!
It's sea turtle nesting season on the Gulf Coast of Florida.
Driving along Highway 98 from Panama City to Ft. Walton Beach, it is hard not to notice a theme in the commercial and resort logos. From Grand Boulevard to grand resorts, high-end home gates to funky beach cottage wall art - sea turtles are everywhere along the Emerald Coast and South Walton Beaches!
Why is this exactly? Why such a sea turtle theme in Bay, Walton and Okaloosa Counties?
Well, sea turtles return to the exact beach upon which they were born many years later to lay their nests. Our many nature minded communities celebrate this fact and welcome our reptilian friends each year by making sure the beaches stay clean, dark and flat for their return.
Locals and visitors alike are encouraged to turn off beach facing lights after dark so that sea turtles do not become confused and wander toward town instead of off into the sea.
Sand castle builders and beach hole diggers are asked to knock down their fortresses and fill in those holes so that mama turtles don't get stuck on their way in and out to lay eggs.
And, for obvious reasons, everyone is encouraged to leave only their footprints so that our annual turtle visitors won't accidentally ingest something harmful or bump into something that could hurt them.
Looking for a safe and responsible way to experience this annual nesting event while visiting our beaches? Let Bay Limo arrange transportation for your crew to take a guided Turtle Walk with our area's trained naturalists.
Unless you have been properly trained, the public is prohibited by law from engaging with the sea turtles and their nests. But local sea turtle groups do offer guided tours for small groups of 20 or less who are interested in learning more about these unique and endangered sea creatures. If you want to learn more about protecting and raising money for sea turtles, there is more info here which should be useful.
Try an Evening Guided Beach Turtle Walk offered every Monday and Wednesday through November 30th at 8 pm.
Hosted by Turtle Watch groups from Panama City to Navarre, these guided nighttime educational exploration walks will leave your family with the memory of a lifetime and a lot of useful information on how to be a responsible beach visitor.
Make reservations for the Walton and Okaloosa walks by calling Turtle Watch 850-865-0868 and be sure to brush up on your sea turtle knowledge in advance by checking out the Friends of South Walton Sea Turtles online.
Bay Limo is available to transport your group to and from every kind of special event or experience the Gulf Coast has to offer.