PENSACOLA, Fla. (April 15, 2021) — Santa Rosa Island Authority (SRIA), the governing body for Pensacola Beach, recently launched a new, content-rich website showcasing the many unique creatures and features of the barrier island.
Pensacola Beach has long been a favorite spot for vacationers who are drawn to its sugar-white beaches and clear emerald waters. Look a little deeper and you’ll discover that it is also home to a fragile and diverse eco-system with abundant wildlife and plant life.
PensacolaBeachEcoTrail.com is an extension of the physical Pensacola Beach Footprints in The Sand Eco Trail, which consists of informative, educational signs posted across the island. An interactive map hosted on the website guides visitors along the trail which stretches from just outside the Gulf Islands National Seashore Fort Pickens gate to Park East - just before the Opal Beach area.
“The new Pensacola Beach Footprints in the Sand Eco Trail website reinforces SRIA’s mission to preserve our natural resources, manage growth and promote eco-friendly tourism in a clean, safe community environment,” said Robbie Schrock, Director of Administration for SRIA. “We are thrilled to have this new resource to help visitors learn how to enjoy and appreciate the natural wonders of Pensacola Beach.”
Stunning imagery and videos illustrate the wide variety of plant and animal life that can be found on Pensacola Beach. Nearly all of the photos and videos showcased have been graciously shared by 21 local photographers and videographers. Amazing wildlife scenes have been captured by these contributors, including a Bald Eagle atop a sand dune by Perry Doggrell, a video of a paddle boarder gliding over dozens of rays in Santa Rosa Sound by Steve Luppert, and close up of a Ghost Crab by Harry Purcell.
Written content for the site was contributed by subject matter experts, including Florida Sea Grant agent Rick O’Connor; Carrie Stevenson, a Coastal Sustainability agent for Escambia County; and Lucy Duncan, a master birder and co-author of several birding books.
SRIA extends special thanks to Pensacola Beach environmental advocates Lila Cox and Beverly McCay, who came up with the concept for the eco trail and spearheaded the organization and content for the new website. Design and development of the new site was provided by EW Bullock Associates.
Visit the site pensacolabeachecotrail.com and explore the physical trail with the aid of the virtual map embedded on the site.
About the Santa Rosa Island Authority
Pensacola Beach is owned by Escambia County, Fla., and is under the direction of the Santa Rosa Island Authority (SRIA). The SRIA was created by the Florida legislature in 1947 under Chapter 24500. The SRIA does not receive tax support from the taxpayers of the county. It is fully funded from lease fees collected from business and residences on the beach. The Island Authority board is made up of six members; five are named by members of the Escambia County Board of Commissioners whose term is the same as the commissioner who appointed them. Registered voters on Pensacola Beach elect the sixth member. The elected member’s term is two years.