Filmmaker to Screen New Coastal Dune Lakes Documentary at Camp Helen

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Want to learn more about those rare coastal dune lakes that dot the 30A landscape? On June 19, a new film on the lakes will be screened at Camp Helen State Park, located on the shores of the area’s largest coastal dune lake, Lake Powell.

The father-and-son team of Elam and Nic Stoltzfus spent the last year and half producing the one-hour documentary, ‘Coastal Dune Lakes: Jewels of Florida’s Emerald Coast,’ which will be shown on National Public Television. Elam Stoltzfus will be at the screening to discuss the film.

Elam Stoltzfus
Elam Stoltzfus

He said the film shows what makes these lakes unique and how people can work to protect them. In addition to the 15 coastal dune lakes located here on 30A, the film also explores the coastal dune lakes in New South Wales, Australia. His findings, along with comments from Australian and American geologists, provide insights into the formation and differences of these coastal lakes.

“Florida’s dune lakes are home to species only found there, many of them endangered, like the Choctawhatchee beach mouse, loggerhead sea turtle and snowy plover,” he said. “These lakes also offer locals and visitors alike a peaceful haven.”

Stoltzfus, an award-wining cinematographer and producer has documented diverse aspects of Florida’s natural resources, including the Apalachicola River, the E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center and the Big Cypress Swamp.

Camp Helen, and nearby Lake Powell, the largest coastal dune lake in Florida, provides hiking, swimming, beachcombing, nature study and fishing. For day use only, this 180-acre park is located west of Panama City Beach on U.S. 98 at the west end of the Phillips Inlet Bridge, just inside Bay County.

Coastal dune lakes collage

The Friends of Camp Helen State Park and Lake Powell Community Alliance are sponsoring the screening, which will begin at 6:30 p.m. Park fees will be waived for this event, which is free and open to the public.

For more info on the event, email Camp Helen Friends, follow them on Facebook or call 850-233-5059. Learn more about the film at


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