Florida's fossil record includes a wealth of marine fossils from the Pleistocene epoch (2 million-10,000 years old) which are found throughout the state. Fossils are also often located in beaches, canal banks, river beds, spoil islands in the intracoastal waterway and shell pits where fill material is mined and used for road construction and beach replenishment.
When it comes to the rules for digging, err on the side of caution and always check with your county office about their ordinances. Also, it's usually a good idea to get permission from property owners to avoid trespassing charges or worse.
Before you dig, it's the law in Florida to call 811. This free service notifies all of the utilities that you intend to excavate on your property. This helps ensure that you don't hit any underground pipes or lines and potentially cause injury, damage or property loss.
If you dig a hole on the beach, it's a good rule of thumb to make it no deeper than the knees of the shortest person in your group. And don't forget to fill your hole back in so it doesn't pose a hazard to others.
A new TikTok challenge is causing problems for Florida's beaches as people dig huge holes on the sand and then leave them open, creating dangerous conditions for humans who walk in these areas and sea turtles that can become trapped in the openings. The best way to dig on the beach is to use a shovel to create holes no more than 5 feet wide and 4 to 5 feet deep.