Walton County is home to 15 named coastal dune lakes along 26 miles of coastline. These lakes are a unique geographical feature and are only found in Madagascar, Australia, New Zealand, Oregon, and here in Walton County. Our coastal dune lakes share an intermittent connection with the Gulf of Mexico. The lake water is fed by streams, groundwater seepage, rain, and storm surge. The connection with the Gulf, called an outfall, is a flood control and pours lake water into the Gulf as needed. Salt water and organisms flow back into the lake, depending on tides and weather. Each lake’s outfall and chemistry is different. Water conditions between lakes can vary greatly, from completely fresh to significantly saline. Protecting the Lakes Walton County has an aggressive program to protect our coastal dune lakes. The Coastal Dune Lakes Advisory Board meets to discuss the county’s efforts to preserve the lakes and publicize the unique biological systems the lakes provide. Walton County currently partners with Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance to regularly monitor the water quality of the Coastal Dune Lakes. The data is used by Walton County, as well as state and federal agencies, to manage and regulate the lakes. For more information, contact Melinda Gates, Coastal Dune Lakes Coordinator, at (850) 892-8108. 13227565_10207762820762714_5788112117661766971_o Stand Your Sand, Love Your Lakes, Love Your Parks! This idea is meant to be a peaceful walk on the beach. Touching or tampering with signs, ropes or chains on the beach could result in legal issues. Show restraint, respect and be polite if you are confronted with a beach front homeowner. This walk is not meant to be about confrontation. It is meant to peacefully celebrate our customary use of the beaches, our lakes and our parks. Instead of break a leg why not take a leg and walk a short leg to the coastal dune Lakes event if you don’t feel like walking the whole 10 miles. STAND YOUR SAND! (Parks open at 8:00, walk starts at 8:15) Won’t you join together on June 4th for Stand Your Sand and have a walk on the beach? Join hands and walk 10 miles from the east and 10 miles from the west and enjoy South Walton’s Beaches to establish our customary use for all. If you don’t want to walk 10 miles you can join in at any point along the way or just enjoy your beach all day. Suggested starting point at Topsail State Park from the west and Camp Helen State Park on the east at 8:15 a.m.. Let no barriers or signs impede us on our beaches on this day or ever. This, to claim the Beaches of South Walton from the dune line to the water line for the customary use for all to fairly and equitably use and enjoy for eternity. “This sand is your sand, this sand is our sand” LOVE YOUR LAKES! Celebrate and enjoy our fragile Coastal Dune Lakes along the way and join up from the east and the west at Grayton Beach for Coastal Dune Lakes Day! Walton County’s Coastal Dune Lake Advisory Board (CDLAB) is hosting a celebration of South Walton area coastal dune lakes on Saturday, June 4, 2016. The event will be held at Grayton Beach State park from 10:00 a.m. til 3:00 p.m. Celebrate Coastal Dune Lake Day at Grayton Beach State Park Jun 4 | SoWal.com – Insider’s Guide for South Walton Beaches & Scenic 30A. LOVE YOUR PARKS! Celebrate and support your State Parks for the treasures they are. We are so fortunate to have so many amazing State Parks along South Walton’s beaches. Show your support for your beach Parks on June 4th and pay the entrance fees that keep them thriving. Start your walk at Topsail or Camp Helen State Parks and finish at Grayton Beach State Park https://www.floridastateparks.org/content/annual-pass-information Join hands for our sand and walk the walk for OUR beaches. Join hands to embrace and protect OUR fragile Dune Lakes. Join hands to celebrate and support OUR State Parks. Reserve the right to stop on any portion of the dry sand for a rest to stay properly hydrated to ensure good health and to enjoy the view. Please do not litter. Please behave responsably and leave only your footprints. Please be respectful of beachfront homeowners and avoid confrontations. Be respectful of the Walton County Beach Activities ordinance. Do use and enjoy the beaches as people have for centuries. When going to the beach it is important to avoid conflict with the few beach front homeowners who actually might verbally attack you for exercising your right to the customary use of the beach. They have nothing if we ALL remain resolute and immune to their attempts to anger us. Smile at them, be polite and perhaps tell them to “have a nice day.” Say it, show it and mean it without condescension “It’s a beautiful day for the beach” It is important to avoid dispute and show customary use according to Tona Rama vs Daytona beach Supreme court decision. “If the recreational use of the sandy area adjacent to mean high tide has been ancient, reasonable, without interruption and free from dispute, such use, as a matter of custom, should not be interfered with by the owner. However, the owner may make any use of his property which is consistent with such public use and not calculated to interfere with the exercise of the right of the public to enjoy the dry sand area as a recreational adjunct of the wet sand or foreshore area.” The walk on the beach is in no way an official event of any kind; It is only an idea. All people have the free will to choose to act on an idea or not. We all have the right to walk on the beach; no permit needed. IMPORTANT: Please be aware and avoid any contact with post and roped off sea turtle nesting areas. Also near and within the State Park boundaries and inlet/outfalls avoid crossing or trampling posted and roped areas that provide barriers to protect nesting shorebirds and waterbirds. Stay hydrated water stations will be placed at marked beach accesses along the way. Wear appropriate sunscreen, headwear and clothing for protection from the sun. 13260260_10209682831217701_7671217465445012972_n

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Stand Your Sand – Protect Coastal Dune Lakes @MarilueMaris

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