Scattered along 22.5 miles of the Scenic 30A Florida coastline is where you’ll find rare and ecologically unique coastal dune lakes. Occurring only five places world-wide, these exceptional lakes with rare ecosystems are only found here in Northwest Florida, Madagascar, Australia, New Zealand & Oregon.
The existence of the fifteen dune lakes found in South Walton, also gives our area the exclusive distinction of having the largest concentration of these ecological wonders in one area. Of the fifteen lakes located in South Walton; three are found in Topsl Hill Beach State Park; one in Grayton Beach State Park; one in Deer Lake State Park. Lake Powell, the largest lake is located at the eastern boundary of Walton County. It encompasses 800+ acres with a portion contained within Camp Helen State Park in Inlet Beach.
Following below, we’ve put together some FAQ’s about “Must Know” information, to insure preservation of these local treasures.
Coastal Dune Lakes FAQ’s
What makes coastal dune lakes different than other lakes?
Their close proximity to the gulf
When lake levels rise, they naturally break-through the sand creating tributaries (Outfalls) that flow into the gulf.
Outfalls + tides allow the influx of salt water to mix with fresh water creating a unique bio-diverse ecosystem of plants, fish, and wildlife.
Each of South Walton’s 15 lakes has its own unique water chemistry.
Water levels and outfall openings vary between each lake and are dependent on rain fall, and upland flooding conditions.
Water content varies from being completely fresh water to highly saline.
Are coastal dune lakes protected?
Yes. Because of their rarity and their fragile ecosystem, coastal dune lakes are protected bodies of water. Protection and over-site of the lakes is managed in Walton County by The Coastal Dune Lake Advisory board. The Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance along with other state and federal agencies monitor lake levels, water quality.
Can motorized boats or Jet-skis be used on the South Walton’s Coastal Dune Lakes?
Jet-skis are not permitted for use on the dune lakes within Walton County.
There three boat launch access located on coastal dune lakes.
Two on Western Lake (within Grayton Beach State Park)
Eastern Lake in Seagrove Beach
Lake Powell access is located on west Panama City Beach in Bay County
If I own property or am considering purchasing property on a coastal dune lakes, what do I need to know about them?
Walton County has established Coastal Dune Lake Protection Zones for property on and near the lakes.
There are specific building requirements for residences built on or near coastal dune lakes.
Clearing, planting, or landscaping along coastal dune lakes require permits and approval to do so.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection manages the permitting & laws governing decks, docks, or other structures built on coastal dune lakes.
Following are several links to informative resource publications that will assist you in learning more about responsible ownership along these rare gems here at the beach!
As one of the 30A and South Walton’s oldest real estate firms, “this ain’t our first rodeo”! We’ve been assisting clients for over 28 years to navigate the waters of selling and purchasing lake front, gulf front and bay front property.
Please reach out with any questions or curiosities, if we don’t know the answer – we’ll find out for you! Our team is here to help you reach your 30A Home Goals!