30A Coastal Dunes Wine Company is a proud sponsor of the South Walton Artificial Reef Association (SWARA). On June 25, 2018, co-founder of 30A Coastal Dunes Wine Company, George Barnes, witnessed the installation of the Anamorphous Octopus with the talented artist Allison Wickey. Wickey is also sponsored by 30A Coastal Dunes Wine Company. The introduction of the Underwater Museum of Art (UMA) is part of SWARA overall mission of creating marine habitat and expanding fishery populations while providing enhanced creative, cultural, economic and educational opportunities for the benefit, education and enjoyment of residents, students and visitors in South Walton.
30A Coastal Dunes Wine Company is giving back to the local environment for a second straight year through a $1000 gift to the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance (CBA) Dunes in Schools program.
CBA strives to enhance swimmable, fishable waterways in our community through education, research, monitoring, and restoration. The coastal dune lakes remain a focal point over 20 years after the organization’s founding, and inspiring students to become stewards of their environment remains a critical goal.
The Dunes in Schools program educates middle school students about the rare dune lake and barrier island ecosystems which exist in their local environment. Students begin the school year with an exploratory field trip to the beach where they collect data and restore the coastal habitat by planting sea oats. The remainder of the year the students participate in monthly lessons. The goal of the curriculum is to build students’ knowledge about the dynamic coastal systems and how their sea oats will benefit this habitat. Dunes in Schools provides students with a hands-on science program that encourages each of them to become personally vested in their local environment by gaining an understanding and awareness of coastal systems.
“With the help of 30A Coastal Dunes Wine Company, we are able to ensure that every child is able to take a trip to the beach to see the Coastal Dune Lakes,” says Brittany Tate, Education Coordinator for CBA, “Our goal is to get students involved in hands-on, experiential learning, and this sup-ports allows us to do just that.”
The 30A Coastal Dunes Wine Company was founded by George Barnes (chef and owner of Smiling Fish Cafe for thirteen years and currently the director of operations at 723 Whiskey Bravo) and grocer Charlie Modica, Jr. (of Monica Market in Seaside). Barnes ex-plains that the wine is about “friendships, relationships, and the beauty of this area.” Their wine can be purchased online or at restaurants, liquor stores, and wine bars along the Gulf Coast.
With the support of 30A Coastal Dunes Wine Company and other partners, CBA will continue to bring high quality, hands-on education experiences to local middle school students. As Barnes and Monica write in the story of the company’s founding, they “want 30A Coastal Dunes Wine Company to be a platform for preservation efforts in the 30-A area; [and] of particular concern is the protection of the fragile coastal dune lakes.” The continued hat their hope is “to get others involved in the company.”
WHAT IS DUNES IN SCHOOLS?
30A Coastal Dune Wines is proud to help in local preservation and conservation efforts. That's why a portion of our proceeds from our 2012 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon will go to the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance's Dunes in Schools educational program.
"Dunes In Schools is CBA’s middle school environmental education program that focuses on the globally rare coastal dune lake ecosystems. In this program, students grow sea oats in classroom nurseries, while learning about the importance of the coastal dune lakes and barrier island systems of Northwest Florida. The program culminates with an April field trip, in which students take a direct role in the coastal restoration by planting sea oats to restore dune habitat."
-- Alison McDowell,
Director of Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance
For more information about the program and the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance, please visit their website: www.basinalliance.org
And be sure to check out this film & Book:
Coastal Dune Lakes: Jewels of Florida's Emerald Coast
“Coastal Dune Lakes: Jewels of Florida’s Emerald Coast” is a feature-length documentary that paints a picture of northwest Florida’s highly unique ecosystem. These lakes are home to a diverse group of endangered species—such as the loggerhead sea turtle, the snowy plover, and the Choctawhatchee beach mouse. Offering locals and visitors a peaceful haven, the lakes have generated an increase in human activity, resulting in positive and negative effects. Emmy award-winning cinematographer Elam Stoltzfus takes you on a sweeping journey from Australia to the United States and shows how these lakes are fragile, unique, and instrumental to the local economy.
The film is currently airing on Public Television throughout the U.S. With a silver and three bronze Telly awards to its credit and three Suncoast Emmy Award nominations, Mr. Stoltzfus has previously screened the film in several other film festivals including the Wildlife Conservation Film Festival, the Orlando Film Festival, and the Apalachicola Riverfront Film Festival.