Spring Break Responsibly on Pensacola Beach
By Katie King
Pensacola Beach has long been a favorite, family-friendly Spring Break destination that locals cherish and newcomers embrace.
To ensure our beach remains pristine and enjoyed by everyone, here are a few tips to guarantee everyone has a great time, stays safe and respects the beach community.
1. KNOW THE RULES
Adult beverages are allowed on the beach. Glass containers, underage drinking and public drunkenness are not. Illegal drugs and driving under the influence will not be tolerated. Laws and ordinances will be strictly enforced, for everyone’s safety.
Wherever you’re staying, please be respectful of your neighbors and keep your noise level in check.
In addition, motorized vehicles, generators, grills, fires and any open flames are prohibited on the beach.
2. KNOW THE FLAG COLORS
If you are going into the Gulf, know how to swim and always swim near a lifeguard. Lifeguards will be stationed on Pensacola Beach daily starting March 1 at Casino Beach, with patrols driving the island, as necessary. Lifeguard stations at Park East, Park West and Quietwater Beach will be manned depending on staffing availabilities.
Colored flags fly at all lifeguard stations and other beach entrances. This warning system is designed to alert the public about surf conditions. Here is what the colors mean:
Green flag – Low hazard. Conditions are calm. Swim with usual caution.
Yellow flag – Medium hazard. Moderate surf and currents. Swim with extra caution.
Red flag – High hazard. High surf and dangerous currents. No swimming or wading is allowed in the Gulf of Mexico.
Double red flag – WATER IS CLOSED. This is used during hurricanes or natural disasters. No swimming, wading or surfing is allowed in the Gulf of Mexico.
Purple flag – Dangerous marine life is present. Exercise caution when in the water or on the shoreline.
Current flag colors and surf conditions are also accessible online at pensacolabeachlifeguards.com. In case of emergency, notify a lifeguard or call 911.
3. LEAVE ONLY YOUR FOOTPRINTS
Rule of thumb: If you brought it to the beach, carry it back with you. Tents, umbrellas, chairs and beach gear are not allowed to be left overnight on the beach. Trash cans are provided near all beach entrances, and you are asked to fill in any holes you may dig in the sand.
Dogs are welcome at designated dog beaches only. You’ll find two dog beaches on Pensacola Beach for dogs on leashes and their owners. As always, please be courteous and remove pet waste.
Remember the motto, “Leave Only Your Footprints Behind.” If you follow that advice, you will help to preserve the natural beauty of the beaches and help to ensure all residents and guests can have an enjoyable experience.
Here’s wishing you safe travels and many green flag days!