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Important Information for Coastal Visitors

If you are heading to one of Alabama's beautiful beaches, please check out the following tips to keep you and your loved ones safe while you are having fun! If you don't like lists or have children who like games, please go to the bottom of the page to learn that way!

Before your visit:

Purchase your sea turtle friendly flashlight.

These red light flashlights are safer for marine wildlife, such as sea turtles.  Order your flashlight ahead of time to be prepared for your evening walks on the beach!

Be familiar with the flags.
When visiting any of our beaches, look for flags flying to indicate the risk level of the beach.

  • Yellow: Medium Hazard

  • Red: High Hazard

  • Double Red: Water closed to public

  • Purple: Dangerous Marine Life

Check the surf conditions for the beach you are visiting
Bookmark these pages on your phone so you can easily access the surf conditions for your area at any time.

During your visit​:

Beware of rip currents, or high-power currents that flow away from the shore. They are most common around sand bars, piers, and jetties.

Identify a rip current by looking for calm places between waves or sandy ares of water close to the shoreline. ​


If you get caught in a rip current, follow the steps below, and check out this infographic:

  • Remain calm to conserve your energy.

  • Call for help toward the shoreline.

  • Swim parallel to the shoreline until you escape the current.

Protect yourself in the sun:

Avoid dehydration by drinking lots of water, and always use sunscreen while outdoors! Make sure you  reapply sunscreen after swimming.


Keep the beach safe for wildlife:

  • If you dig a hole in the beach, or come across a hole in the sand during your trip, filling it in before you leave can help protect the people walking along the beach as well as wildlife, such as sea turtles, that might otherwise get stuck in the hole.

  • If you come across a sea turtle nest, or actively nesting sea turtle, leave it undisturbed and call our sea turtle hotline at 1-866-SEA-TURTLE (1-866-732-8878). 

  • Avoid walking on or playing on sand dunes. These help protect the beach from wind erosion, protecting the animals that live on the beach and their habitats. 

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