Just in time for sea turtle season to start back up, the Santa Rosa Island Authority (SRIA) is excited to announce that its Pensacola Beach Footprints in the Sand Eco Trail renovation project is now complete and remind the public to “Please Leave Your Only Footprints” behind.
Created in 2013, the Footprints in the Sand Eco Trail consists of informative, educational signs spanning about 7.5 miles along Pensacola Beach, highlighting the island’s ecology and biodiversity – including the four species of endangered sea turtles that nest on our shores. The trail helps answer many questions about the island’s common plants, animals and birds, complete with colorful photos.
“The SRIA’s mission is to preserve our natural resources, manage growth and promote eco-friendly tourism in a clean, safe community environment,” said Leigh Davis, Executive Director of the SRIA. “The Pensacola Beach Footprints in the Sand Eco Trail helps visitors learn about and, in turn, preserve our barrier island’s many natural wonders.”
Over the past year the SRIA’s eco trail has undergone a facelift, with expanded species and topics added to certain kiosks along the trail. In total, 14 new educational panels were added, each one highlighting a new subject. The Pensacola Beach Eco Trail now consists of 38 distinct panels on 28 kiosks along the beach.
“The Eco Trail has transformed in the past year with the help of subject matter experts and photographers who generously donated their time and talents to create the content for the new website and the replacement panels,” said Lila Cox, the volunteer who coordinated this project on behalf of the SRIA. “It was a pleasure to share their knowledge with the public and to do so with so many local images that reflect the unique ‘nature’ of the beach.”
PensacolaBeachEcoTrail.com is an extension of the physical Pensacola Beach Footprints in The Sand Eco Trail. The website features stunning imagery and videos that further illustrate the wide variety of plant and animal life that can be found on Pensacola Beach. An interactive map hosted on the website guides visitors along the physical trail, too.
Other improvements to the beach this season include:
- Park West pavilion repairs and roof replacement.
- Casino Beach Ball Water Tower renovation and repainting.
- Quietwater Beach pavilions and restroom renovations and repairs.
- Bike lane delineators and reflective pavement markers installation on the Bob Sikes Bridge.
- Pensacola Beach Sign repairs to be completed by fall 2022.
The SRIA welcomes everyone to enjoy the natural wonders of Pensacola Beach safely and responsibly this season.