Living in Walton County

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. .

On Nat Geo's "Where to Travel in 2019"

"Northwest Florida’s South Walton County has four state parks and 26 miles of sandy beaches."
With Florida’s coastal regions increasingly threatened by hurricanes and red tides, South Walton is taking a proactive approach to protecting its shores. This collection of 16 beach communities on northwest Florida’s Gulf Coast is building beach accessible artificial reef systems, creating habitat for a wide variety of marine life. Each of the four snorkel reefs are arranged in the shape of an indigenous marine animal: a cobia off Inlet Beach, a sea turtle off Grayton Beach, a seahorse off Topsail Hill Preserve State Park, and a dolphin off Miramar Beach. The newest dive site, opened in June at Grayton Beach State Park, is the nation’s first permanent Underwater Museum of Art. “Each sculpture already feels like a living thing,” says Walt Hartley, a local diver and South Walton Artificial Reef Association board member.
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Officials foresee economic boom in Freeport

With a growing population of around 6,000, Freeport could soon be the new hot spot of Walton County.

According to state Rep. Brad Drake, he, state Sen. George Gainer and Freeport Mayor Russ Barley recently met to discuss the once rural town’s future.

“From that conversation, we ascertained that the growth in the Freeport area could triple in as few as 10 years,” Drake said.

He added that as the fastest growing county in Florida, Walton has welcomed many new residents in recent years, including those who “have come here on vacation and never looked back.”


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170,000 homes planned for Bay & Walton counties

Latitude Margaritaville Watersound, a planned active adult community in Bay County, is projected to break ground by the end of the year.

Latitude Margaritaville Watersound will likely include 170,000 homes on about 15 miles of frontage on the Intracoastal Waterway connecting West Bay with Choctawhatchee Bay.

The project is all part of St. Joe’s 50-year, approximately 110,500-acre project stretching into both Bay and Walton counties. However, the Latitude Margaritaville Watersound project is only in Bay County.
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