Seagrove Seawalls

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After last year's hurricanes many Seagrove residents built seawalls to replace the beach lost between their homes and the ocean. Many say the walls are all that keeps there homes safe.

But these seawalls extend onto Walton County property. For the walls to stay up permanently, the county has to sign off on new state permits. County commissioners are afraid that signing the permits will make them responsible for maintaining the walls.

Local environmentalists also have problems with the walls. They say the walls cause more beach erosion, and the manmade sand that covers the walls isn't right for sea turtles that used to lay their nests on beach dunes.

At Tuesday's Walton County commissioners meeting, commissioners voted to draft a letter to the state's Department of Environmental Protection. The letter will ask the DEP to inspect each seawall and let the county know which ones the state would let remain permanently. Then the county will consider signing off on new permits. Till the county hears back from state officials, all Seagrove residents can do is wait.

The next Walton County Commission meeting is October 24, but commissioners aren't sure whether they will have an answer from the state by then.