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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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Fourth of July on the Beach

In Florida, many 4th of July celebrations happen at the beach. Some personal and quiet, others with a bit more pizazz. We all have busy lives, and sometimes it feels like we are just celebrating a day off from work. But most Americans DO remember what the Fourth of July is all about.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." — Declaration of Independence. In Congress, July 4, 1776, the unanimous declaration of the thirteen United States of America.

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Saturday, June 16, 2007

Night photos of Pass-A-Grille, Florida

I thought I'd share a couple of interesting photos I took one evening in Pass-A-Grille, Florida, on St. Pete Beach.

The first one was taken just after sunset, looking north. You can see the bright pink Don Cesar Resort on the right. The Gulf of Mexico is quite calm.

The second photo is of the Merry Pier on a very breezy evening. The Merry Pier is on the east side of the island at about 8th Avenue.


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Thursday, June 14, 2007

New Website about St. Pete Beach

St Pete Beach deserves to have a really good, comprehensive website covering all the St Pete Beaches and parks, and all the tours and activities that the visitors enjoy. I've been getting so many emails with questions about St Pete Beach and Pass-A-Grille that I've finally decided to create a separate web site for it.

So if you'd like to check it out, there's a lot of great information on the new site already:

As continues to grow, I find it more and more difficult to keep it organized when adding new types of information. So was born. I think visitors will soon find it to be the best resource available on the web for planning a vacation or visit to St. Pete Beach, Florida.

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Friday, May 11, 2007

Smoky Beaches in Florida

Late Friday morning the smoke from the wildfires in Georgia and Florida has blanketed west central Florida, blotting out the sun and creating breathing difficulties for many people. The smoke has even drifted out over the beaches. The photo is of Upham Beach, on St. Pete Beach, a little after noon, May 11th. thanks to Ryan for sending me the link to this photo, which shows a lot more smoke on the beach than the photo I originally posted. My car had a light dusting of ash this morning. I think this is the worst I've seen this area affected by wildfire smoke. Still, we are not experiencing anything like the thick, dark smoke further north. If you are vacationing on the smoky beaches, a trip further south or to the Atlantic coast might be in order, just to get some clear air.

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