- Operates 7 days a week from 6:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- Maintains and cleans 60+ beach, lake and bay accesses. All regional beach access restrooms and pavilions are cleaned and restocked daily.
- Maintains and services 600 garbage collection stations located on the beach, at the regional/neighborhood accesses, and along the multiuse trail. All garbage collections stations are emptied daily.
- Maintains and cleans 26 miles of multi-use trail. The entire trail and adjacent right of way is cut, edged, and cleaned of litter, sand, and debris every seven days.
- Coordinates and manages architect/engineers/consultants for capital improvement projects and beach re-nourishment projects.
Beach Survey in Progress:
As part of Walton County’s effort to monitor beach conditions – in particular the erosion caused by Tropical Storm Christobal – survey crews will be in the Seagrove Beach area to survey and document beach and dune conditions. Survey crews will be on site for approximately one week using traditional handheld instruments and drone aircraft to perform the survey.
As our community see an increase in visitor travel, our Beach Operations staff is taking additional precautions related to COVID-19 to keep both visitors and locals safe. Extensive measures are being taken to help minimize the impacts on South Walton staff and the public during this time.
Beach Maintenance crews are maintaining cleanliness on and off South Walton beaches by disinfecting all public beach access bathroom facilities and boardwalk handrails with industrial cleaners and sanitizer, as well as removing trash and lost/personal items from boardwalks, parking areas and common gathering areas. With the influx of visitors traveling to the destination, additional garbage bins have been added to various neighborhoods to help manage collection throughout the summer months.
In addition to addressing sanitation concerns, staff has installed signage at beach access points to promote to encourage safer practices when visiting South Walton’s beaches and inform visitors of executive orders put in place by our state and local officials.
Beach Access Updates:
As you and your visitors venture to the beach this summer, you will notice nine beach access points have received improvements this past winter, including replacement of decking and railing, the addition of bike racks, or a complete rebuild, if necessary. Five of the beach accesses were located in the Seagrove Beach neighborhood and the four regional beach accesses were located throughout South Walton.
All nine accesses, including 395 NBA, Live Oak NBA, Hickory Lane NBA, Dogwood NBA, Fort Panic RBA, Gulfview Heights RBA, Inlet Beach RBA and Ed Walline RBA, have reached final completion.
Regional Beach Access Updates:
The Miramar Beach RBA (Scenic Gulf Drive) is nearing the end of the design and permitting phase, with about 95% of this portion completed. Construction is planned to begin in October of this year, with a May 2021 opening date.
The Seagrove Beach RBA (Address TBD, across from Café Thirty-A) is also moving along within the permitting phase (60% completion), with construction is expected to begin later this year.
The Walton Dunes RBA (Beachfront Trail) public workshop was held on July 25, 2019, where feedback was gathered from locals, community members and industry partners. The conceptual design was approved by the Walton Co. BCC this past January and staff is currently working through the permitting/design phase. This new RBA will have approx. 16 parallel ROW parking spaces, restrooms and an ADA-accessible boardwalk.
Capital Improvement Updates:
Recent properties purchased by the TDC and slated for improvement include:
- The Driftwood Road parking project is on a 1.119-acre parcel located at 76 Driftwood Road in Miramar Beach.
- The County Road 393 parcel is 2.3-acres and located north of Gulf Place Town Center on the west side of County Road 393.
- The County Road 283 parcel, also referred to as “Grayton Grand” parking project, is 6.995-acres and located on the eastern portion of County Road 283 South, across from the Shoppes at Grayton. This property has been leveled and improved with more than 300 designated parking spots currently used by visitors to Grayton Beach, employees and patrons, as well as shuttle location for Seaside and other nearly businesses.
- The Eastern Lake Road parking project consists of two neighboring parcels, located at 392 and 406 Eastern Lake Road in the Seagrove neighborhood. 392 Eastern Lake Road, .215-acres, is located just south of Williams Street on Eastern Lake Road. 406 Eastern Lake Road, a .278-acre parcel, is located just next door (east) of 392 Eastern Lake Road.
Currently, all public workshops for these proposed parking projects have been postponed and updates will be provided at a later date.
Managed Beach Vendor Program:
As of May 12, the Walton County Board of County Commissioners voted to reinstate vending on South Walton's beaches. The 2020 Managed Vendor Program season has officially begun with limitations in place. A total of 12 vending companies will serve South Walton visitors this summer. In 2019, the pilot program began at the Ed Walline RBA, Inlet Beach RBA and Grayton Beach NBA and with much success. In 2020, the program was expanded to all regional beach accesses.
Expansion of the program was based off feedback from community members, partners and staff. Continued expansion of the program to neighborhood beach access points will be considered in the future.
The Managed Vendor Program, overseen by the South Walton Beach Service Association, is now in effect at all regional beach access points, as well as the Grayton Beach Neighborhood Beach Access. So far, this program has drastically reduced the amount of “ghost chairs” and has been well received by the public. With multiple participating vendors, the program has proven to be effective. As mentioned above, discussion to expand the program into neighborhood access will be considered as the program progresses.
So how does this new program work? Beach Vendors all have equal opportunity to participate in the managed vendor program. They have to be a permitted vendor in Walton County; sign the Association’s Agreement; drop off/pick up equipment as needed or store their equipment in the association’s storage boxes on the beach; are not allowed to set up/tear down equipment on their own; and pay a fee based on how many beach sets rented out.
A beach attendant, who is on site daily, works directly with guests to set up their beach equipment, whether it be chairs, or an umbrella. When the guest is done with their equipment, the attendant removes the equipment from the beach. This will alleviate the issue of "ghost sets" or empty chairs on the beach.
The program regulates Walton County beach vendors for beach chairs/umbrellas. The program does not regulate or have any association to Special Event Permits/vendors, (including photographers, officiants), sandcastle lesson vendors, bonfire vendors or the like.
For more information about the program, contact Phillip Poundstone at email@example.com or call (850) 832-8715.