June Grass Update for Walton County 6/21/13:PM

June grass update for Walton County 6/21/13:PM

1-3 on the June Grass Grossness Index. With areas of 5-10 depending on where you are swimming!

I went for a swim with my husband around 5pm. The water was about the same temperature as the air and there was virtually no surf. When I entered the water I noticed that there were a lot of planktonic invertebrates including at least three kinds of jellies and what I think were salps or larvaceans. There was a little June grass in the water near the beach, but not bad. As we swam out toward the second sand bar I noticed a small low-hanging cloud of June grass hugging the bottom in about 6′ of water. Out further, in about 10′ of water there was a huge nasty cloud of June grass and sargassum that the waves and wind hadn’t quite pushed up to the beach yet. Yuck!

At this point I started getting stung by “sea lice” (transparent broken-off jelly tentacles, usually caused by rough surf). Fortunately I was wearing my Ecostinger swimsuit. Unfortunately it was my “shorty” model, not the full-body, so my legs were getting stung as well as my wrists and hands. These kind of jelly stings are not serious, unless you are allergic. They are mostly annoying and make swimming less fun.

I deal with minor jelly stings by taking a very hot shower and occasionally sluicing the stings with apple cider vinegar if there are noticeable red marks. Usually they feel better once I leave the water and aren’t a big deal, which is the case for most people. Caution should be used with small children or people who are sensitive. I have had a serious sting from a sea nettle many years ago in the Virgin Islands. I am a little sensitive, so if I still feel itchy I take a benedryl. “Sea lice” may not effect everybody the same way: my husband rarely gets stung as often as I do even with bare arms and legs. If you think a sting that you or your child has is serious enough for medical attention I would recommend Emerald Coast Urgent Care. I go in there for things like sinus infections and tick bites and find the service to be fast, friendly and cheaper than an office visit. If somebody who has been stung by a jelly is experiencing itchiness in their throat and/or trouble swallowing or difficulty breathing they may be experiencing anaphalactic shock need to be taken to the emergency room IMMEDIATELY!

Here are some photos of what it looks like swimming out beyond the beach. They aren’t the best photos (I had to screen capture them from video my husband shot on a GoPro) but they will give you an idea of the water conditions.


A moderately clear area


A small-medium stingray in some June grass and sargassum


Pompano in front of a big nasty cloud of June grass


The clearest area and some fish if you squint


I know June grass is nasty but it seems to be providing a hiding/feeding area for this juvenile black drum. Black drum between 50-100lbs are currently being caught in Choctawhatchee Bay


Medium-sized southern stingray with 10 level June grass and sargassum

At the time this report was made the beach flags were yellow and purple, but check them again before you head to the beach. In Walton County you can text “beachflag” to 67463*

I would love it if you would share your personal June Grass and beach condition reports on the Most Recent June Grass Sightings & Beach Conditions page, to further improve the June Grass Report. It would also be great if you left a comment to tell me where you’re traveling from to visit the beach!

If there isn’t a current June Grass report up on this site I suggest checking the link to local beach cams on the left side of this page. They can often give you an idea of what the water is like. It is also important to “Know Before You Go” and check local beach flags. They are updated twice daily at 9:30am and 1:30pm.



Posted on June 21, 2013, in Beach Activities, Beach Conditions, June Grass, Weather and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. This will be my last year in Destin if the June Grass comes in, last week my buddy was down here and said he hardly seen any. We get down here and the second day we are seeing it. I havent had a june grass free destin vacation in 8 years and we come every year around this time. I will be waiting till July next year possibly the end of July if we get plumed out of the water by June grass, thanks so much for all the updates.

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