Protect Our Shores
Let’s work together to protect Gulf County and our natural resources.
Gulf County is the largest nesting place for Loggerhead Sea Turtles in Northwest Florida.
Click here to learn more about our Turtles.
Home to more than 28 percent of the Loggerhead Sea Turtle nests, we love and protect these massive, beautiful creatures and we ask that our visitors do as well. Play your part in turtle conservancy by keeping our beaches clean, flat and dark and follow the Leave No Trace Ordinance. At the end of your beach day, please do your part by leaving only your footprints, and remove all trash and beach equipment.
Click here for the entire LNT Ordinance.
Visit the new Forgotten Coast Sea Turtle Center or contact a member of our concierge team to find out how you can accompany our turtle patrol on their dawn walks in search of new nests or hatchlings.
“It takes 450 years for a plastic bottle to break down and at least 10 to 20 years for a single-use plastic bag,” according to U.S. National Park Services.
The following information is a highlight of the rules implemented by the Leave No Trace ordinance
- All unattended personal items (chairs, tents, toys, kayaks, etc.) must be removed daily from the beach no later than 1 hour after published time of sunset and can be placed back on beach after sunrise the following day.
- All holes created must be filled in prior to leaving the beach each day.
- Overnight camping must not be within 400 feet of any waterfront residence.
- Glass bottles, containers, etc. are prohibited on Gulf County beaches.
- Bonfires are permissible, but must not be within 100 feet of any structure, and all remnants must be extinguished and removed from the beach that same day. All items other than natural wood are prohibited from burning (i.e.-pallets, wood with screws or nails, pressure-treated wood, etc.).
- All trash must be removed from the beach.
- Soliciting and canvassing on the beach is prohibited other than County Administration and Law Enforcement officials.
- It is unlawful to remove sand from Gulf County beaches.
- Per Gulf County Ordinance 2008-20, pets must be on leashes at all times.
- Beach Driving is no longer addressed under Leave No Trace. Click here for more information check our Riding the Beach
Watch the Video below for quick Tips & Tricks regarding our Leave No Trace Ordinance
See Our Wild Side
Endless possibilities to experience nature on open waters or secret shores.
With a wingspan up to six feet, the Great Blue Heron is the largest heron in North America and often spotted in our rivers and marshes stalking fish.
St. Joseph Bay is regionally important for breeding Brown Pelicans. On Black’s Island, a private island in the bay, Brown Pelicans nest in the tops of palms.
The St. Joseph Bay Buffer Preserve has set aside over 5,000 acres of protected coastal landscape where Southern Bald Eagle often perch atop tall pines.
St. Joseph Peninsula has the highest density of nesting Loggerhead Sea Turtles in the Panhandle. This beach provides critical nesting habitat for the endangered Green Sea Turtle, which nests on our beaches every other year.
St. Vincent Island
St. Vincent Island is home to numerous shorebirds, nesting ospreys, and bald eagles, as well as, an abundance of alligators, Sambar Deer (native to Southeast Asia, pictured below) and the native white-tailed deer. The island is also a haven for endangered species such as Loggerhead Sea Turtles, Indigo Snakes, Gopher Tortoises and a pair of Red Wolves that are part of the Red Wolf Recovery Program.
St. Vincent Island is open for daylight use and accessible by a short boat ride.
Did you know that Gulf County is the largest nesting place for Loggerhead Sea Turtles in Northwest Florida. Home to more than 28 percent of the Loggerhead Sea Turtle nests, we covet and protect these massive, beautiful creatures and we...