Along with other UF/IFAS Extension Walton County professionals, Brooke Saari, a Florida Sea Grant agent with UF/IFAS Extension in Walton and Okaloosa counties, is running tours to showcase Walton County’s unique natural resources. In 2013, as part of the Panhandle Outdoors Live program, the county chose to feature its fifteen coastal dune lakes. Dune lakes, rare ecosystems that occur in only four other places in the world outside Walton County, are freshwater lakes that occur very near the coast--in this case, the western coast of Florida along the Gulf of Mexico. Panhandle Outdoors Live tours of the area seek to introduce people to the rare lakes and other valuable natural resources in their watershed, and to teach them small changes that can have big impacts on protecting and enhancing those natural resources. This 2013 UF/IFAS video explains the program and shows highlights from the dune lakes tour.
Florida Sea Grant Agent Brooke Saari conducts a Panhandle Outdoors Live tour. UF/IFAS File Photo