These trees which once thrived on Santa Rosa Island are victims of Hurricanes Erin and Opal (1995), Ivan (2005), Dennis (2006), and countless tropical storms. Santa Rosa Island is a long barrier island (the same Island that Navarre Beach is built on!) that protects the mainland of Northwest Florida. In 1995 Hurricane Opal began the carnage with a 13-17ft storm surge that washed over the island washing away homes, buildings, sand dunes, trees, and just about everything else. It totally changed the landscape of Navarre Beach. Ironically, the hurricanes thoroughly cleansed the local water ways of stagnant and polluted water and created many natural lagoons and tidal pools which provide natural breeding grounds and nurseries for fish. The Fish began to thrive once again, which improved the local fishing and attracted many shorebirds.