Monday, November 19, 2007

Florida Signs Beach Protection Senate Bill 1472 into Law

Those of us who love the beach know how disappointing it can be to find fewer and fewer places where public beach access is available. Beachgoers are always in competition with beachfront developers. And the developers always seem to stay one step ahead of us.

With considerable supporting efforts from the Surfrider Foundation, Senate Bill 1472 was signed into law in November 2007 to add some additional roadblocks for developers to hurdle.

I suffered through 9 pages of the document's legalese and came away with these highlights:

  • Existing legally established public access across private property to the beach cannot be infringed by developers without comparable access being provided. One would think that this is a no-brainer, but apparently it needed to be codified into law to be more easily enforced. Note that this does not address the issue of parking. Public access just means "a path to the beach." It doesn't seem to say "and parking areas shall be provided." Nor does it provide for any new public access points. I'm not being critical, just stating the obvious.

  • Since offshore deposits of beach quality sand are limited, the bill provides that such repositories of sand be identified and managed, so there is enough to go around in beach renourishment projects.

  • Certain types of "beach armoring" are now subject to greater impediments to implementation. Specifically, "geotextile" tubes cannot just be thrown down willy-nilly. I had never heard of this type of armoring (Armoring, for those who do not know, means the construction of structures to "protect" the beaches, like seawalls, jetties, groins, etc) until the "geotubes" were installed at Upham Beach, on St. Pete Beach. They are hideously ugly and obstruct those of us who like to walk along the beach. They also screw up a good surf break and create hazardous conditions for swimmers. Photo below:

Above: Yellow geotubes installed at Upham Beach. Ugly!

For some great photos of Upham Beach and the geotubes visit my St Pete Beach website.

Read Senate Bill 1472 (opens a pdf file)
Visit the South Florida Surfrider Foundation
Read about the Bal Harbor beach access interference by a developer. Warning, contains language unsuitable for young children.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

BeachHunter Recommends: Pole-R Bear Umbrella Hooks

Ever had a "wish I'd thought of that" moment?

Well, I've just discovered a great new product that fits on a beach umbrella pole to help keep your personal stuff out of the beach sand. I use it to hang my camera bag, my backpack, shirts and towels. The Pole-R Bear umbrella hooks also make a great place to hang wet clothes so they can dry out more quickly.

I've created a YouTube video review of the Pole-R Bear umbrella hooks so you can see exactly how it works!

For more info on the product and to find out where you can buy this great product, visit the website at

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Monday, November 05, 2007

BeachHunter appears in Snorkeling Tips Video for VISITFLORIDA

Recently I've appeared in some short videos about Florida Beaches for, Florida's official website to promote tourism in the state. I thought it would be fun to do a little video on snorkeling, so I met the video crew down at Point-of-Rocks on Siesta Key. It wasn't the best day for snorkeling. It was as hot as it gets and some really stinky algae was in the water and piling up on the beach. But we did the video and had a lot of fun anyway. So I've included the video in this blog post.

I think the video crew (Idoia and Amon) did a great job shooting the video and putting together a cute video clip. Certainly better than what I'm known for producing;-)

Hope you enjoy it!