Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

This year’s Emerald Coast Open was a record-breaker with nearly 20,000 lionfish removed from the water in Okaloosa County.

The annual fishing tournament aims to reduce the number of lionfish from the Gulf of Mexico where they pose a threat to native marine life.

File photo

Now that snowbirds are starting to head home, Destin is preparing for a new influx of visitors.

Spring breakers.

College students have made the Destin area their home during their break for some time. It’s easy to spot them on the beach with their school flags waving as they throw Frisbees back and forth and snap selfies. Most of them are drinking, but not all of them are the legal drinking age.

After multiple reports of coyote sightings in the Destin area, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will be holding a workshop Thursday to help residents live peacefully among the non-domestic canines.

Coyotes can be found in all 67 counties throughout the state. Even in highly developed areas, such as Destin. From January 2018 through January 2019 there have been a total of 56 calls regarding coyotes in the Okaloosa/Walton area, said Carli Segelson, spokesperson for FWC.

Savannah Vasquez

People visit Destin and South Walton primarily for the beaches.

But local governments are finding there’s little public access to its No. 1 asset. Now, they’re tasked with buying beachfront properties for visitors to enjoy.

The City of Destin has 13 beach access points. Eleven of those are city-owned, one is county-owned and one is owned by the state. Most of them provide only limited access to the beach creating a problem for visitors who want to enjoy the Emerald Coast.