Beach & Water Safety
There are many miles of shoreline within the national seashore. Bay and sounds generally provide calm shallow waters with less wave and wind energy than those encountered along gulf beaches. Open waters on all beaches have the potential for hazardous winds and waves. Visit our swimming and rip currents pages before heading out to the beach.
Sunshine can be very intense throughout the national seashore. Use a sun block with a high SPF of 30 or wear longed-sleeved light protective clothing. Wear shoes to protect feet from the hot sand. Drink plenty of liquids, especially water, and remember alcoholic drinks cause dehydration.
Dangerous Marine Life
Use caution to avoid jellyfish and stingrays. If stung by a jellyfish apply vinegar and meat tenderizer. Do not touch irritated skin or wash with fresh water. Shuffle feet lightly while wading to scare stingrays away. Beach warning flags (purple) in Florida areas are used to notify swimmers of dangerous marine life.
Sharks are present in the Gulf of Mexico. Do not swim at dawn, dusk or night when sharks are active or feeding. Do not swim in murky waters.
Glass bottles and Containers
To protect barefoot walkers and swimmers, glass bottles and containers are not allowed on the beaches. Learn more about the rules and regulations of the national seashore to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit.