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Celebrating Earth Day this month reminds us to appreciate the treasures that Mother Nature offers. Our earth has picturesque snow-capped mountains, lush rainforests, vibrant tropical islands, and serene desert landscapes, but we think that 30A is the most beautiful on place on Earth.
30A is home to unique ecosystems not found anywhere else in the world. The 28.5 mile 30A corridor has four state parks, 27 miles of greenway trails and 11 rare coastal dune lakes. 30A also provides a habitat to nesting sea turtles.
30A has become a unique sort of “habitat” for us humans as well! Nature’s treasures provide a spectacular backdrop for outdoor activities like sun bathing, YOLO boarding, bicycling, hiking, and bird watching – not to mention “people-watching!”
With all the beauty that surrounds us, it is important to remember to appreciate and preserve both the natural and manmade resources that 30A offers. Whether your visit coincides with the celebration of Earth Day or any time you visit, be sure to take a moment during your visit to do something to leave 30A in better shape than you found it.
Tips for an earth-friendly vacation on 30A:
• Enjoy a picnic on the beach, but don’t bring glass containers and be sure to clean up after yourself.
• Bring a reusable water bottle on your trip to avoid creating plastic garbage, or - at the very least - recycle your disposable water bottles.
• 30A is known for its rare coastal dune lakes. In order to maintain this unique and fragile ecology, keep off the dunes.
• Stay on established trails and use dune walkovers to avoid damage to vegetation, which will lead to erosion.
• Observe wildlife from a distance, especially nesting sea turtles and birds.
• Contact the Southeast Region Stranding Network 24-hour toll-free hotline 877-WHALE HELP (877-942-5343) or Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge (850) 650-1880 to report sick, injured or deceased animals that have washed up on the beach. For your safety and theirs, do not attempt to assist these beached animals yourself.
• Participate in one of South Walton’s annual Coastal Clean Up days (held in July and September). Contact Visit South Walton for dates and more information.