Coastal Dune Lakes
Walton County is home to 15 named coastal dune lakes along 26 miles of coastline. These lakes are a unique geographical feature and are only found in Madagascar, Australia, New Zealand, Oregon, and here in Walton County.
Our coastal dune lakes share an intermittent connection with the Gulf of Mexico. The lake water is fed by streams, groundwater seepage, rain, and storm surge. The connection with the Gulf, called an outfall, is a flood control and pours lake water into the Gulf as needed.
Salt water and organisms flow back into the lake, depending on tides and weather. Each lake's outfall and chemistry is different. Water conditions between lakes can vary greatly, from completely fresh to significantly saline.
Walton County has an aggressive program to protect our coastal dune lakes. The Coastal Dune Lakes Advisory Board meets to discuss the county's efforts to preserve the lakes and publicize the unique biological systems the lakes provide.
Walton County currently partners with Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance to regularly monitor the water quality of the Coastal Dune Lakes. The data is used by Walton County, as well as state and federal agencies, to manage and regulate the lakes.
For more information, contact Melinda Gates, Coastal Dune Lakes Coordinator, at (850) 892-8108.
The Coastal Dune Lakes provide a variety of recreational activities for everyone to enjoy. Stand up paddle boarding, kayaking, or canoeing on the lakes are some of the popular activities that can be enjoyed. Topsail Hill Preserve State Park, Grayton Beach State Park, Deer Lake State Park and Camp Helen State Park all offer unique views of the lakes, as well as wonderful spots for birding. Fishing is available on the lakes with a Florida fishing license. Lake Powell, Western, and Eastern Lake all have available boat ramps to launch from.