Wild about nature? You've come to the right place.

Artists and sun worshippers aren't the only species drawn to the Emerald Coast. Our breathtaking beaches are popular with wildlife and ecotourists as well. Here on the Emerald Coast, it isn't unusual at all to be joined by a heron as you walk on the beach, to see a pelican out fishing while you’re casting a line in the bay or to come upon bottlenose dolphins at play while you’re out Jet Skiing. Read about our plant life, wildlife and ecotourism opportunities here.

Take A Walk On The Wild Side: Nighttime Educational Beach Walks

During sea turtle nesting season, The Emerald Coast CVB/Okaloosa County Tourist Development Council offers Nighttime Educational Beach Walks. The walks are part of an effort to protect the sea turtle populations along the Emerald Coast, increase ecotourism in the area and provide additional family-friendly activities.

"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."

Free and open to the public, the walks are scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday at 8:00pm throughout the summer, and include a 30-minute orientation. 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 subject to change based upon weather and turtle/turtle nest availability.

The walks are conducted by George Gray, who has served as the county's Sea Turtle Coordinator for almost 20 years. Gray is licensed by the state to conduct the county's annual endangered species survey. "Public education is vital to keeping nesting turtles protected on our shores," said Gray.

For more information or to sign up, please email ECTurtleWatch@gmail.com. An event page may also be found on the Emerald Coast CVB's Facebook page: facebook.com/FloridasEmeraldCoast.

Want more information about our beach walks? Send us your info today and we'll contact you.

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