Friends of South Walton Sea Turtles
The Friends of South Walton Sea Turtles is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the importance of nurturing and protecting sea life along the beaches and rare coastal dune lakes of South Walton County in the panhandle of Florida. Through education, the organization seeks to increase awareness of the delicate balance that exists between the land and the sea. Every creature has a purpose to fulfill, and it must be preserved.
The Friends of South Walton Sea Turtles is a volunteer group that was created to work alongside South Walton Turtle Watch (SWTW). The original Turtle Watch group has been active nearly two decades. The original group’s primary mission is to locate turtles and their nests in order to protect them. You may have seen the early morning “turtle walkers” who are up with the sun in order to find crawl markings that indicate a new nest has been laid.
Over the years, the original SWTW group found that educating the community and its visitors is the key to keeping sea turtles safe. For example, if the public understands that they should fill in the large holes in the sand as to not impede on the path of a sea turtle – they may save a sea turtle's life. Since the day to day task of SWTW is already taxing, now a secondary group of volunteers is dedicated solely to educate.
The new group’s mission focuses on education, fundraising, and social media. The volunteers that make up Friends of South Walton Sea Turtles have backgrounds in teaching, marketing, and of course – a love of turtles. This group educates tourists and locals alike through social media campaigns and face-to-face informational meetings. You may see representatives visiting schools, at snowbird meetings, the library, or any event where their message can be heard. If you would like to get involved with the volunteer group, visit their website or sign up to volunteer here.