Natural Floodplain Functions

Santa Rosa Island, its beaches, and adjacent waters are not just a location for flood problems. They also perform some very valuable natural functions.

Learn more about these natural floodplain functions first hand by walking our Eco-Trail. Sand dunes help break the action of waves that would otherwise slam into buildings farther inland.

The beaches also provide nesting areas for birds, sea turtles, and other marine fauna. We do many things that affect where sea turtles nest.

  • Night-time human activity can prevent sea turtles from emerging on the beach or even cause females to stop nesting and return to the ocean.
  • Beach furniture and other recreational equipment (e.g., cabanas, umbrellas, hobie casts, canoes, small boats, and beach cycles) can reduce nesting success and increase false crawls on nesting beaches.
  • Artificial lighting adversely affects their annual visits to our beaches to lay their eggs. You can get ideas for better lighting from the The Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center.

The open areas to the east of the developed area is a designated, and critical, wintering and nesting habitat for several endangered shore birds. Check Visit Pensacola Beach Eco-Trail site for more information on our feathered friends.