FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. (WKRG) — The Okaloosa County tourism department is asking for people to help with a large conservation project on Okaloosa Island beaches.


  • Saturday, April 16, 2022
  • 7 a.m.
  • Volunteers should bring water, sunscreen, and gloves

Volunteers and county staff recently installed dune fencing on three miles of coastline with local non-profit Trees on the Coast.

The fencing helps expand the dunes and mitigates impacts that have been made to nesting sea turtles, piping plovers and other nesting birds in the area.

Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners

Destin-Fort Walton Beach Tourism said planting 200,000 sea oats on the growing dunes protects them from storms and other impacts.

“The dunes provide a sand source that keeps our beaches healthy. The first step to building up the dune system is to install sand fencing to trap and build sand. The next step is to plant vegetation that stabilizes the dune and prevents sand from blowing or washing away. This project has resulted in the installation of 3-miles of sand fencing and now the planting of 200,000 sea oat plants. Community support has been essential to the success of the dune stabilization project.”

Alex Fogg, Coastal Resource Manager, Destin-Fort Walton Beach Tourism

The coastal resource team said they have ten team leaders and as many volunteers as possible to complete the project. To get more information or sign up to help, register at

“The dunes are an important part of our coastal landscape,” said Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners Chairman Mel Ponder. “We are fortunate that Destin-Fort Walton Beach Tourism is dedicated, not only, to keeping our highly-visited beaches pristine but to help fund this project that ensures resiliency to our coastlines in the event of a storm by reinforcing the dune system.”

Volunteers will sign a waiver and pick up sea oats to transport to assigned beach accessways where team leaders will be stationed to offer instruction and assistance.  Equipment will be provided but volunteers are asked to bring water, sunscreen, and gloves.

Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners

Learn more about how tourism works for Okaloosa County at