Take A Walk On The Wild Side: Nighttime Educational Beach Walks
Interested in learning more about sea turtles and how to protect these endangered species? Join the Emerald Coast Convention & Visitors Bureau on a complimentary Nighttime Educational Beach Walk! On these fun and educational walks you’ll learn about how the sea turtle nests on our beaches and how you can help the effort to protect the sea turtle populations along the Emerald Coast.
Sea turtles are vital to the Emerald Coast's ecosystem and visitors of the area can learn and enjoy why and how these species provide a cornerstone for everything that happens along the shoreline and emerald-green waters. Whether it's the use of sea turtle safe lighting, littering, not approaching or touching any sea turtles, or even filling holes on the beach when you leave, this informational nighttime beach walk is something not to pass up! Kids of all ages will enjoy the adventure of how sea turtles crawl from the emerald-green waters to the shore and back and what impacts their seasonal migration and egg laying. Viewing baby sea turtles making their way to clear waters, adults laying eggs, established nests and footprint trails, this excursion can inform all ages about what happens on the beach after the sun sets.
Many regular visitors are not aware that they are sharing the beach with sea turtles and other wildlife," said Jim Trifilio, Coastal Management Coordinator for the Emerald Coast CVB. "It is helpful for folks to be aware of sea turtle nesting habits and why some of the turtle species are endangered."
The educational walks are free and open to the public. Tours are scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday at 7:30 pm from June through October, and include an orientation. Conducted by George Gray, the area's Sea Turtle coordinator for almost 20 years, visitors can learn everything there is about the safety, environment, and the life of sea turtles that live within and influence the Emerald Coast. "Public education is vital to keeping nesting turtles protected on our shores," said Gray.
The walks explore Okaloosa Island and Destin and are open to a maximum of 20 people each evening, age six and up. Times and locations are subject to change based upon weather and turtle nest availability. Loggerheads, Green Leatherbacks, and Kemp Ridley turtles are just some species one can spot during this twilight stroll along the beach with our resident seaturtle expert.
The fragile life and journey that the Emerald Coast's sea turtle population embarks on is an important role in the area’s ecosystem. The walk and educational session is a perfect end of day getaway to learn and appreciate what's important to our beaches and wildlife.