Coastal Dune Lakes are a very rare natural phenomena that only occur in a handful of locations around the globe, including New Zealand, Australia, Madagascar and South Walton, Florida.
In fact, South Walton has 15 named coastal dune lakes along its 26 miles of coastline.
They are (moving from west to east): Fuller Lake, Morris Lake, Campbell Lake, Stallworth Lake, Allen Lake, Oyster Lake, Draper Lake, Big Redfish Lake, Little Redfish Lake, Alligator Lake, Western Lake, Eastern Lake, Deer Lake, Camp Creek Lake and Lake Powell, adjacent to Camp Helen and Inlet Beach.
South Walton’s coastal dune lakes are said to be as much as 10,000 years old and were formed by winds that redistributed sand and created the shallow basins (with most lakes averaging only about 5 feet deep).
But what makes these lakes truly unique is that their mostly fresh water content sits within just a few feet of the Gulf’s salt water, separated only by a natural berm of sand. Following a heavy rain or other inflow, the sand berms are suddenly breached, causing a flood of fresh water to pour openly into the Gulf. This event is known as an “outfall,” and it’s a time when salty seawater can also flood back into the dune lake, until the levels stabilize. The result is a rare brackish ecosystem that’s home to both fresh and salt water species.
Fortunately for locals and visitors, Walton County has had the vision to partner with organizations such as the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance to regularly monitor the water quality of these rare and precious natural wonders.
For more information about these beautiful natural treasures, visit www.coastaldunelakes.org.
More 30A Features:
Portion of concert proceeds to benefit Special Operation Warrior Foundation Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Gregg Allman will bring his distinctive Southern Rock sound to... more
By Shannon J. Winslow-Claunch Justin Gaffrey's art is best described as sculpting with paint. The big, bold colors in three-dimensional spikes literally jut off the canvas,... more
Meyer Boarding Co. is hosting the first Land Paddle/SUP Paddle Biathlon at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park featuring rolling hills, picturesque scenery and some really nice pavement on... more
Click here to enter to win a 2-night stay at the recently renovated Courtyard by Marriott Sandestin at Grand Boulevard near the beautiful beaches of South... more
The Seaside School lottery for grades 5-10 will be held on April 29th at 5:00 PM in the Lyceum Meeting Room.
One lucky winner who “likes” Alys Beach will win a trip to experience Digital Graffiti 2014 — the world’s first outdoor projection art festival.... more