Dive into our blog and learn more about Emerald Coasting

“Emerald Postings,” the official blog of the Emerald Coast tourism industry, was created to provide visitors with insider information on all there is to see and experience on the Emerald Coast. Posts are organized into categories to make it easy for you to find the information that interests you most.

Dune Walkovers

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Dunes are an iconic part of the Emerald Coast landscape. Formed through the forces of wind and water, they create wildlife habitat and beautiful views while providing protection against storm events. Unfortunately, they are sensitive, and can be negatively impacted by people.

The Release of Norma Jean and Gerdy: Loggerhead Sea Turtles

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As part of its Sea Turtle C.A.R.E. program, Gulfarium staff responds to rescue calls for potential turtle patients. For more information on the Gulfarium C.A.R.E. program and their past turtle releases, check out their webpage here. If you find a stranded or injured sea turtle, keep a safe distance and call 1-888-404-3922. 

Learning to Scuba Dive on the Emerald Coast

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I had always wanted to learn to dive. I knew from photographs, from documentaries, from my friends and family that the underwater world boasted gorgeous landscapes complete with rainbow-colored fish, intricately shaped corals, and larger marine life like sea turtles and dolphins. I had brushed the surfaces of these aquatic environments through snorkeling, but I was ready to take the plunge and learn to dive.

The benefits of scuba diving were obvious: I could stay in the water for much longer, giving me more time to observe everything around me; I could dive deeper, showcasing ecosystems I had never before experienced; and finally, it would be an absolutely blast. I knew all these things, but I still couldn’t help feeling a little anxious.

Luckily, my instructor at Scuba Tech in Destin immediately set me at ease.

“I’m so glad you told me that,” he said over the phone. He went on to explain that he liked when students were feeling a little bit nervous. The butterflies told him that they were taking the lessons seriously, and would actively pay attention to what would make them safe underwater.

That I wasn’t alone in my nervousness already made me feel better, and I began the process of earning my open water certification.

Think you can’t learn to scuba dive? Think again! If I can do it you certainly can, and the Emerald Coast is an amazing place to start.

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Scuba Diving at Destin's East Jetty

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Enjoy scuba diving or snorkeling with instructors at Destin's East Jetty and at the Emerald Coast’s many other artificial reefs!

Bird Banding on the Emerald Coast

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See those bird bands? Become a citizen scientist on your vacation!

The Emerald Coast is a bird hotspot and bird banding is a critical way researchers gather information about bird movement and survival. Don’t think you can do it? It’s easy!

Step 1: Carefully note or photograph the bands. Sketch where they appear on the bird’s legs or wings, then write down any identification numbers you might notice.

Step 2: Go to the government bird banding website, https://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/BBL/bblretrv/.

Step 3: Follow their guidelines to report your sighting. You will input where you saw the bird, the species (if you know it), and where specifically the bands were located on the bird.

 

Beach Safety

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Beach safety tips for enjoying the sugar-sand and green surf of the beautiful Emerald Coast.

Sound Park

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Explore this particularly unique sculpture and natural park area in Fort Walton Beach. 

John Beasley Park

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Get to know the Emerald Coast and all its natural glory with a breezy trip through John Beasley Park. 

Karick Lake

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Spot a pair of bald eagles at Karick Lake. Tucked in the Blackwater River State Forest, explore the pines along the shoreline that were part of General Andrew Jackson’s Red Ground Trail, which was once used by Native Americans to trade between Georgia and Florida, and also by Jackson’s troops.

Indian Temple Mound Museum

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Take a look through a cultural window of times gone by at the Indian Temple Mound Museum in downtown Fort Walton Beach. 

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