Leave Only Footprints

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If you’ve taken a walk on our beaches in Gulf Shores & Orange Beach chances are you’ve noticed signs promoting Leave Only Footprints. And you may have seen the program mentioned on social media and other publications. So… what’s it all about?

Leave Only Footprints is a collaborative effort to raise awareness and participation in green initiatives and Leave No Trace behaviors among visitors to and residents of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.

Beach Usage

LOF IP 5 beach chairs

Effective in 2016, the cities of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach ask that you please remove all your personal items from the beach one hour after sunset.

Pack up the beach chairs, gather the beach toys, fold and carry out the tent, and recycle or throw away all trash in a designated receptacle. All abandoned items will be removed for the protection of our beaches, local wildlife, and the many visitors we want to enjoy our clean coast for generations to come.

Learn more about the beach usages policies in Gulf Shores & Orange Beach.

How You Can Help

LOF IP 26 litter
You can play an important role in protecting local beaches.

  • Avoid walking on any beach vegetation. Plant roots hold together the fragile dunes.
  • Keep the natural ecosystem intact by avoiding the removal of shells, driftwood or other items you may find during your island explorations.
  • Explore away from bird nesting areas. Nests may be located in the ground and camouflaged to resemble the surrounding environment, so please watch your step!
  • Consider the best type of transportation to see the island: your feet! Walking is not only a great form of exercise, but it’s an eco-friendly way to experience the Alabama Gulf Coast.

Be Turtle Friendly


Turtle nesting season takes place along Alabama’s white-sand beaches from May through October.

Follow these guidelines to help protect both the female sea turtles and their hatchlings during this time:

  • Avoid using flashlights or flash photography on the beach at night.
  • Turn off outside patio lights and turn off all lights inside when not in use at night.
  • Do not disturb turtle nests.
  • Leave only your footprints on the beach each night.