Oyster Lake off 30A spills into Gulf of Mexico

 SANTA ROSA BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — One of Walton County’s rare coastal dune lakes opened into the Gulf of Mexico on Monday. A video sent to us by a viewer shows Oyster Lake on 30A near the West Allen Beach Access roaring into the Gulf.   Beachgoers are seen surrounding the outfall, some with boogie boards […] [[{“value”:”

SANTA ROSA BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — One of Walton County’s rare coastal dune lakes opened into the Gulf of Mexico on Monday.  

A video sent to us by a viewer shows Oyster Lake on 30A near the West Allen Beach Access roaring into the Gulf.  

Beachgoers are seen surrounding the outfall, some with boogie boards to catch the outgoing lake surf. 

The cause of the outfall is unknown, but one report said kids playing in the sand cut the opening causing the rush of water.  


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The county said regardless of how it opened the public needs to let nature take its course.  

“These are natural systems. We want to see them open and close naturally. But typically if somebody is opening and want a plastic shovel of some form, you know, for a sand castle type of shovel, the lake is about to open on its own, or they’re pretty close to it anyways,” said Melinda Gates, Coastal Resource Liaison.

Walton County is one of five places on earth with a rare ecosystem of coastal dune lakes.  

“When the coastal lake opens, it’s a really neat phenomenon to watch. You know, you have all this tannic water and going into emerald green waters and the Gulf of Mexico and it’s really neat just to watch it flush. What’s also happening is you’re having a mix between the freshwater fish species and saltwater fish species and are mingling now because of that opening,” Gates said.

Construction or drudging of coastal dune lakes is illegal. 

However, Gates said if deputies or code compliance is called for kids causing an outfall, they will focus on education and not any criminal action.

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