Grayton has lots of underground utilities including TV/internet cables, gas lines, phone lines, and electrical lines. Before you DIG please call 811 annd the companies will come out and mark where the lines are. There is no cost for this service.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Dune Lakes and High Tides

MONDAY'S UPDATE: High tides complicate area protection plan as officials ponder pumping out Dune Lakes
June 28, 2010 3:57 PM
(from the Walton Sun)
Freedom Florida
Recent high tide levels are complicating Walton County’s protection plan progress and continue to bring tar balls on shore. All Walton County beaches are open and no health advisories have been issued.
Walton County Emergency Management officials are monitoring the current wave action and tide levels to properly assess the situation at hand. The second phase of the coastal protection plan, the berming project, is now on hold until the tide levels reside and permit further construction of the berms. The tide levels, along with the increased wave action have washed out portions of the berm constructed through the weekend and county consultants are meeting to discuss further plans for the berming project.
County officials are researching companies to perform independent water testing, in conjunction with the testing being done by the Department of Environmental Protection. The county will coordinate with the Department of Environmental Protection to determine where testing is being done, the two entities will work together to cover the county and get the most effective results.
Three of the coastal dune lakes are reaching maximum capacity and will have to be drained. Officials are deciding whether to relieve the lakes with a pump or to manually remove the berms and let them drain out as they do naturally.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Sunday July 4th
LINE UP at 8AM in front of
Parade starts at 8:30

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sunday, June 27th

From :Walton Sun Article Update

As crews scrambled to build a giant miles-long beach berm, Walton County responded to scattered oil impacts.
On Sunday, a State Emergency Response Team worker came upon an “injured oiled bird.” It was identified as a grebe and was picked up by U.S. Fish and Wildlife.
Earlier on the county line, a wildlife rescue team also responded to reports of an oiled loon.
While crews were cleaning small tar balls off of Miramar Beach, Grayton Beach and Seaside were given the all clear. At Topsail Hill Preserve State Park, small tar balls reportedly watched ashore.
“Pea to quarter size tar balls” were spotted Sunday morning on Henderson Beach in Destin.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Sand Berms Approval for Walton

Walton County received approval today from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to move forward with the next phase of its coastal protection plan.
Work will begin immediately to construct a sand berm on approximately 19.2 miles of Walton County Beaches, (not including beaches maintained by the state).
The berms, which will be approximately three feet high and 20-30 feet back from the mean high tide water line, are designed to provide a protective barrier between the shoreline and Walton County’s famous white-sand beaches. Two sets of heavy equipment will begin at the west end of the county, pushing sand seaward to create a berm that protects the beach while continuing to provide easy access to the shoreline.
“We realize this work will create some temporary disruptions for beachgoers,” said Chief of Emergency Management, Captain Mike Barker. “The Public Works department will manage the process as efficiently as possible to limit any impact on our residents and guests.”
All beaches will remain open throughout the project, although some beach access will be limited when equipment is present to ensure public safety. Walton County Public Works is beginning the project this afternoon and will continue to work through the weekend until the project is complete. The department will maintain ongoing maintenance of the berms for the foreseeable future.

June 25th

Visitors are enjoying all 15 of our beach communities, and there were no reported oil impacts anywhere along our shores this morning.
The health advisory issued on Wednesday for a stretch of beach in the western end of the county has been lifted, following two consecutive, clean high tide cycles.
According to NOAA and DEP forecasts, east winds and westerly currents are expected to hinder eastward movement of the oil plume through the weekend.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Oil Spill Report by Greeley B.

If you have a little time and want to see how the oil spill has affected my 10 year old grand daughter who is visiting me this summer. She made the following "roving reporter video" to share her view on what's going on at Grayton Beach. Enjoy!

Tar Ball Report 6-23-2010

Yesterday at 4PM there were thousands of tar balls on the beach (looked like little shreds of tree bark.) Grant Blackwell talked to BP clean up hazmat leader, and he told Grant that they were going to bring in a crew and follow the procedure of DEP and pick up each tar ball in an effort not to remove any more sand than necessary.

6PM Tuesday, Walton County Sheriff had a John Deer and a beach sweeper/ sifter machine operating.

6AM Today: Not a tar ball on the beach. No sign that sweeper was ever there.

LOUD APPLAUSE... There is something to be said about good ole boy common sense stepping up and sollving problems. Our county and our sheriff are on top of this oil mess. If you have a chance drop Sheriff Adkinson an email and let him know you appreciate his efforts and the way he is dealing with this oil mess. He has been on this since day one of this oil spill, his main focus is to protect our Walton County beaches.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Oil at Grayton

It was reported that there was some oil at Grayton today (Tuesday) but clean up crews were quick to clean it up. Hopefully they will be able to stay on top of it.

Oil Spilling Cleaning Company

Walton Sun Article

DEP tests Walton water quality as cleanup crew opens command post at Grayton Beach State Park

June 22, 2010 2:45 PM

Jennie Hobbs
The oil-spill cleaning company P2S is setting up shop at a parking-lot in Grayton Beach State Park.
The beach access point in the park is one of the only public access points with the space to accommodate the volume of people and supplies needed. The workers will be bussed in from S.Walton high and middle schools to the area. The crews are currently working 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. shifts. According to the supervisor on the job there has been "zero reportable" incidents i.e. employees reporting injuries, heatstroke or exhaustion.
Greyhound buses are serving as cooling areas until an air-conditioned tent is erected, which is expected later today.

Link for photos:

Walton Beaches Update



Walton beaches deal with scattered tar ball reports Monday
June 21, 2010 1:06 PM

Florida Freedom
Much of Miramar Beach was given the "all clear" Monday morning by State Emergency Response Team crews looking for oil product.
Crews reported that "The Camp Creek area from Camp Helen west to Eastern Lake is looking much better than yesterday so far today. Isolated dime size tar balls can be seen dotted along the way but are mostly widely scatttered. A few areas have slightly more tar balls than others like the Watersound, Alys Beach, Camp Creek Lake, Deer Lake State Park, and Eastern Lake areas, but no heavy concentrations like were seen yesterday."

An emergency report stated that there were "medium to thick" tar balls in the surf line near Eastern Lake and Seacrest Beach. A cleanup crew was summoned.

Link to see Photos:

Monday, June 21, 2010

Grayton Beach looks great this morning. No oil. No tar balls. No oil sheen.

Walton County continues to report sightings of small to moderate-sized tar balls on several area beaches, and officials are responding quickly in coordination with Unified Command and BP contractors.
The County is deploying additional crews this morning to expedite response time, and is testing additional equipment to aid in the clean up effort.
All beaches remain open, and there have been no health advisories issued for Walton County. Daily air quality reports are provided through the Health Department in coordination with the EPA ( The Florida DEP is responsible for regularly testing water quality and will keep beachgoers informed of conditions

Friday, June 18, 2010

Local Oil Update Site

another site for oil updates:

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Walton County's Plan- from the Walton Sun

Walton to build berms, recontour beach to stave off oil
June 17, 2010 4:16 PM
Freedom Florida Papers

This is the latest report from Walton County's Emergency Mangers. The Walton County Sheriff’s Office is flying a helicopter daily to obtain real time reports of the location and status of oil. Areas of oil have been spotted three to five miles south of Destin.
Wind and water currents change the position of the concentrations of oil daily. As the oil gets closer to our coastline, Walton County prepares to fight the battle and keep as much oil as possible from reaching South Walton’s beaches. Over the next 24-72 hours, residents and visitors can expect to see activities taking place on the beaches, and along the coast to protect the pristine environment as part of Walton County’s coastal protection plan. This plan will be implemented in stages in response to the current situation and levels of impact.
Just offshore, spotters in the air and water will be utilized to direct vessels of opportunity to deploy absorbent materials in the water to soak up oil, which will then be off loaded onto pre-positioned barges carrying lined containers. They will then transport the oil soaked material to be disposed of properly.
On shore, berms will be built in areas that do not have a naturally occurring berm. These beaches will be recontoured to mimic the natural berm and provide an added level of protection and mitigate oil from reaching upland areas of the beach. At completion, there will be a continuous berm, either constructed or natural, that will allow Walton County to contain oil impacts for easy clean up.
If the impacts become more prevalent, geo-bale and silt fence will be deployed along the coastline to collect oil and prevent it from going further on shore and consolidate cleaning activities.
Walton County agencies and organizations continue to have a unified approach in planning for and responding to this situation. Coordination and consultation continues daily with the State and Federal agencies, as well as BP. Walton County is prepared and ready to respond to any scenarios and all levels of impact.
If Walton County shoreline receives impacts, there is a clear process through BP and DEP for removal. It is not permitted for any business or individual to conduct clean up efforts. If oil is spotted, please call 850-267-2000 and 1-866-448-5816.

Another oil Link

Updated often:

Walton County Sheriff's Office Website

(Oil Update)

Supreme Court Decision on Beach Ownership

Okaloosa Tar Balls

Not happy to share this...but I received this note this morning:

I hope and your old mail list people (before you went to a mail program) won’t object that I am sending this but I thought they would want to see.

You may want to view these photos so that the local folks can get prepared.

I took these about 10:00 a.m. this morning (June 17th) near the pier on Okaloosa Island. There are “tens of thousands” of tar balls lapping up to the beaches there, not the “hundreds” I heard about yesterday. They range in size from a tiny spec to about nickel sized with some stuck together forming larger ones. They are soft, pliable and sticky if touched but don’t seem to be sticking to the sand and look to be easy to scoop up while gently lapping up and down the shore if there was somebody there to scoop them up. There were very few up on the dry white sand as the waves are too small today to get them up there. There was a higher concentration West of the Pier than East of the Pier but were in both directions. There were people East of the pier swimming among the tar balls under a yellow flag. NOTE: When I was there, there was no one in site in either direction on the beach cleaning up anything that I could see. I did see, however, two DEP Police vehicles in the parking lot, motors running with the air conditioning on.

My point to everyone in Destin and Walton County is we had better be prepared to clean up our own beaches, not the sheen or mousse, but certainly the tar balls. If you had 10 minutes of training, you could arm the boy scouts, girl scouts and locals with sand buckets and shovels. You could make an impact and more importantly show people that are visiting that something is being done. This isn’t enriched uranium for god sakes. We don’t need guys in white haz mat suits, just buckets and shovels from the local Alvin’s. If the reports from Louisiana, Gulf Shores and Pensacola are any indication, waiting for authorized personnel won’t be the answer.

Gary F.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Tracking the Oil Spill,pos:0

Google tracking of oil spill. Has options to see 72 hour forecast, etc.

PS. lots of folks here at Grayton this weekend enjoying the water and the beach/

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Walton County moves to Protect Rare Lakes From Oil Spill
By Craig Pittman and Will Vragovic,
Times Staff Writers In Print: Tuesday, June 8, 2010
As the first dump trucks full of sand rolled onto the beach last Friday, several swimsuit-clad families with kids walked over to Bayn Powell to ask him what was going on. Powell, who works for Preble-Rish Engineering, looked down at the children and drawled, "We're about to build some really big sand castles."
While national, state and corporate officials struggle to deal with the continuing flow of oil from the Deepwater Horizon disaster, Walton County officials have jumped in to protect their unique slice of the Panhandle using the one abundant resource available: sand.

Walton is home to 15 coastal dune lakes, something locals like to brag are found nowhere else in the country. The lakes all have channels that connect them with the Gulf of Mexico. Some are in a handful of state parks, while others are the centerpiece of expensive residential developments, such as the St. Joe Co.'s Camp Creek project. County officials point out that the Florida Natural Areas Inventory has classified these lakes as "critically imperiled in Florida because of extreme rarity."

The largest ones flow beneath bridges carrying traffic on County Road 30A, which also serves as a line of demarcation for how salty the water is. "You can catch a bream or a bass above the road, and then below the road you can catch mullet, flounder, redfish or crabs," former Walton County administrator Ronnie Bell explained Monday while supervising the dump trucks.

After the oil gushing from the April 20 explosion was discovered, "we were told that in 72 hours our beaches would look like a paved parking lot" from the tidal wave of oil that would wash ashore, said Capt. Michael Barker of the Walton County Sheriff's Office. County officials sought advice from state and federal officials about how to protect their coastal dune lakes, but "nobody had a plan for what to do," said Barker, who is in charge of the county's emergency management effort. The only suggestion they got was to deploy booms, which are ineffective in rough weather.

"So we decided we had to do something to protect our coastal lakes," Barker said. "It would be a disaster for us to get any oil in those lakes." So far, except for a handful of tiny tar balls, the only oil on Walton's beaches is from Coppertone, not BP. That gave the county time to obtain emergency permits from state and federal agencies to dam those lakes for the foreseeable future. The cost: $500,000.

They received the permits Thursday and the parade of dump trucks began rolling through the normally sleepy south Walton beach communities on Friday morning, just as the first tar balls turned up in the surf line in Pensacola, a 90-minute drive to the west.The trucks brought in white sand — normally used for rebuilding eroded beaches — from a pit near Panama City.

When they're done, they will have deposited 10 tons of sand to build the dams. They will have to check the lakes frequently and sometimes create an opening in a dam to let some water flow, then dam it back up. Bell, the company's special projects manager, said a number of tourists visiting from Louisiana and Mississippi have told him they wished their state and local officials had been as vigorous in jumping on the oil spill.

The Walton County project has even drawn plaudits from Panhandle environmental activist Linda Young of the Clean Water Network. "I applaud them for taking matters into their own hands," she said. "I say kudos to them, and I hope other counties pay attention, because I think the state has completely dropped the ball."

According to Amy Graham of the state Department of Environmental Protection, "This type of project is most effective for more severe oil impacts rather than the weathered oil and tar balls currently impacting Florida."
The dune lakes aren't the only area where Walton County is taking the initiative. State officials had told the county not to worry about any oil reaching its 26 miles of beaches because BP would clean it up. But as tar balls have washed ashore, the county discovered there's a long time lag between reporting oil on their beaches and seeing a cleanup crew arrive, Barker said.
"So basically we're going to take care of it ourselves," Barker said. "We can't leave that stuff out on our beaches, so if they don't come fast enough we're going to pick it up and then give it to them when they show up."

The downside is the expense. County officials have tapped their rainy-day reserve, which is supposed to be spent only if there's a hurricane that hits, Barker said. So far, he said, no one from BP or the state has reimbursed them. The bottom line, he said, is that "we're used to tornadoes and hurricanes and fires and floods, but we're not used to dealing with this. But it's a cleanup issue, and we need to get very good at that, because we're liable to be doing this for a long, long time."

Article in Walton Sun

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Monday, June 7, 2010

New Photos thanks to Richard Stafford

These photos were shared with me by Richard Stafford. If you click on the photo they will enlarge. These images are great because they give you a bird's eye view of all of the activity down on the beach.

Article in Sun (Link)

Article from the Walton Sun with lots of pictures to let you know what's going on in Grayton in order to protect our beaches and coastal lakes from the oil. If you choose the slideshow option you can view all of the pictures

Sunday, June 6, 2010

We need a "Yea" vote from our Members

We are trying to poll our membership for a yea or nay vote on the following change to our GBNA bylaws. I have tried to contact as many members as possible who I had their emails for, some members have changed their emails and so my email messages are being returned to me. Please look over the following change and let Ann know back by email ( if you are in favor of the change. Please include your name and number of properties you own in the email.

Your GBNA Board is seeking approval of a change in the bylaws that would allow the Board when speaking to an issue that would affect Grayton to speak in one voice for our association.

5. The Board shall have the general power to act for the association in the conduct of normal business. The Board may not take a position representing the association before any governmental body without a vote of the Association under section IV.4. above.

PROPOSED CHANGE: (Changes in red)
The Board shall have the general power to act for the Association in the conduct of normal business. The Board may take a position representing the Association before any governmental body without a vote of the Association if by unanimous board member vote, the board deems that immediate action is needed and in the best interest of the Association.

Grayton Prepares for the OIL

The county is preparing and is now bring in sand so that they can close off the coastal lakes. The big dump trucks are rolling into Grayton as the Defuniak beach entry is now the staging area for the county. Rumor has it that there are 20 dump trucks in use. My only concern is that there is no contact between beach goers and trucks, I am sure that the drivers and our beach goers are aware of each other. I am including some pictures taken earky Sunday morning. If you click on them they will enlarge.

The lake has been closed off, if you look closely you can see that the back of the lake is dry and the part that is closest to the beach is closed off. The kids are really enjoying this little mini swimming hole.

This is looking down Defuniak Street. As of right now this entry is closed off and cars are not permitted to enter the beach via this route. All beach traffic must use the Garfield entry.

This is looking back toward the staging area that is located on the Defuniak Beach entry.

Close up of the sand pile.

This is the new handicap pavillion that has been installed behind the houses located right behind the Red Bar.

Will post more photos as things begin to happen. Keep good thoughts for our beautiful beach.