Beach regulations and Warning Flags are for everyone’s safety and enjoyment
It is that time of year when visitors begin flocking to the Emerald Coast for their dose of white sand and clear, warm waters. Lots of planning goes in to these trips-where to stay, what to do, where to eat etc., but we often forget about beach safety and regulations. These are in place to ensure that our beaches stay clean and safe for visitors and locals alike. Here is some info about our local beach regulations and warning flag system:
Beach Rules and Regulations for South Walton Beaches
Tents must be 10’ x 10’ or smaller and are to be set up only on the top 1/3 of the available beach space, still allowing for a 15’ distance from the dunes for emergency vehicles.
Charcoal grills are not allowed on the beach, all grilling must be done on Propane grills measuring at 225 square inches (approximately 12”x18” rectangular or 16” in diameter for circular grills) or smaller.
Bonfire permits can be applied for through the South Walton Fire District, Monday through Friday from 8 until 4. All bonfires must be put out and cleaned up by 1 AM and remnants must not be placed in the TDC trash containers. For in depth permit requirements visit South Walton Fire District’s website at www.swfd.com/beach-safety/ beach-bonfires.
Leave No Trace: all items left on the beach overnight will be discarded to help maintain our pristine beaches and provide a safe environment for our South Walton Sea Turtles. Please do your part and remove your own trash when you leave.
Vehicles require a permit to drive onto the beach, and are only allowed to drive on the beach at Grayton Beach. Permits can be applied for through the Walton County Board of County Commissioners lottery system.
Dog Permits are required for dogs on the beach, and are only available to residents of Walton County and/or property owners in Walton County. Permits can also be purchased through the BCC. Permits are issued year round and expire on August 1st of each year.
Glass containers are totally prohibited on the beach.
Stay off the dunes. The sand dunes and vegetation that grows among them act as natural protection against storms and storm surge.
Sand, water and vegetation removal is strictly prohibited.
Two 15’ corridors are reserved for emergency vehicles; one extending 15’ from the dune toward the water, and the other extending 15’ from the water’s edge upland.
Amplified sound (audio device, speakers, radio, musical instrument, etc.) which can be heard by a person using normal hearing faculties at a distance of 100 feet from the source of the sound is not permitted.
Obey all Beach Flag Warnings
Beach Flag Warnings
Double Red Flag-Beach is closed to the public. Do not go in the water, even just to wet your feet. It is extremely dangerous and you could be fined
Red Flag-High surf and/or strong currents. Extremely hazardous, knee deep is too deep.
Yellow Flag-Medium hazard. Moderate surf and/or currents.
Green Flag-Low Hazard. Calm conditions, exercise caution.
Purple Flag-Dangerous marine life. Used in conjunction with another colored flag to represent surf conditions.
Absence of a warning flag does not assure safe waters. Always use caution as dangerous rip tides can be present even if there are no signs from shore
So be aware and stay safe on your visit to 30A!
photo credit: sowal.com