12-22-2011, 04:55 PM #1
Dirty Sand being deposited on beach right now
Was sent this photo just now Code enforcement has been called. Wonder if anyone will do anything. I understand this is in front of the Retreat
12-22-2011, 05:07 PM #2
Oh good grief.
Someone call Boss Hogg and get Rosco and Enos out there, ASAP!
12-23-2011, 04:22 AM #3
12-23-2011, 09:54 AM #4
Why am I not surprised. The elite at the Retreat believe they can do anything they want and to hell with all others. They have more than proved this in the past.I think of government as the Mafia without the moral authority or predictability. Ron Hart
01-16-2012, 08:45 AM #5
It appears that they have torn up the dunes at the Retreat and are now putting in metal seawalls as well as the darker sand. Anyone know the story and why the county is allowing this? Bobby J? Dave?"Look with your understanding, find out what you already know and you'll see the way to fly"...
01-16-2012, 09:35 AM #6
The checking I've done tells me that they are permitted by FDEP to haul sand from a site in Grayton Beach to their dune. They have been permitted to put in, of all things, geotubes. I called the sheriff's office yesterday and filed a complaint about them crossing our private beach. No results yet and tomorrow I will call FDEP to see if I can find out further informaton. The permit is good until March 2013, I am told. As everyone is aware, I am in full support of public beaches. My suggestion would be for those owners who's deeds say they have private beaches to call FDEP, the sheriff's office, code enforcement and your commissioner and file a complaint. It would appear the only way you can stop this rape of our beach is to forbid them passage.I think of government as the Mafia without the moral authority or predictability. Ron Hart
01-16-2012, 09:46 AM #7"Look with your understanding, find out what you already know and you'll see the way to fly"...
01-16-2012, 08:50 PM #8
For what it is worth, here is a video I made today while tooling around Grayton. You can get a pretty good look at the sand in the bed of the dump truck...is it white sand? Not sure I can say. this was being loaded from the sand piles sitting just west of the Red Bar.
01-18-2012, 06:45 AM #9
I have been watching them race in the surf on stormy days. they have driven over every inch of beach from grayton to the retreat. You can not sit on the beach without being in DEEP wheel tracks. The erosion they have caused far exceeds the amount of sand they are moving! Will they bring sand in to replace the beaches that are being lost? I have seen 18" wheel ruts disappear in the next wave!
The ghost crabs who have suffered with oil headache WERE attempting to sleep in the sand, as they do in the winter, but must have all been crushed by this operation. So now, if we have any beach left when they are done, it will be devoid of life!Clean water - Good for the soul !
It's Better To Wear Out, Than Rust!
01-18-2012, 07:13 AM #10
If you have a weak stomach do not visit this link!
You can see photos at
December 6, 2011
Excavation has commenced to within 75 feet of the common area boardwalk. Filling of the first tube has begun and is continuing to commence.
December 15, 2011
The second tube was almost filled allowing for a total of approximately 500 linear feet of completed tube. The first tube was a 250’ and the second tube appears to be a 250’long tube rather than the 125 feet tube that was anticipated to be installed. Excavation and grading for the upper most tube at the western end has mostly completed up to the western boardwalk.
December 19, 2011
The third 250’ tube has been laid out on top of the previously filled two 250’ tubes and they have begun to filling it. These tubes are from the existing tubes purchased in 2005. A 125’ tube will be placed at the extreme western end to complete the western end of the project. Jeremy has informed me that sand will begin to be trucked to the site starting sometime after the New Year. He also informed me they will cease work on this Friday and will resume on January 2nd. They will also need to relocate the wash plant when they return in order to fill the western 125’ long tube. This will be done when they return in January. Most of the equipment will be broken down and removed from the beach. Jeremy has also indicated that they are still on schedule barring any future delays. It is taking approximately 4 days at a time to fill a tube +/- a day.
January 5, 2011
Dark colored sand is continued to be removed and is also being stockpiled temporarily at the Grayton beach access. White sand from Sike’s mine is continuing to be stockpiled and graded. Grading the dune at the extreme western end of the project where no tubes were planned has begun. The scour tube and the geotextile fabric for the 5th tube was being filled and re-staked. The geotube itself was to be laid out tomorrow. On Monday the Pool/Common Area boardwalk will be demolished and excavation will commence to the existing steel sheet pile wall.
January 11, 2011
The majority of the dark colored sand has been removed from the beach and the Grayton beach Access. Beach quality sand from Sike’s mine is continuing to be stockpiled at the beach access site. The 5th tube was almost completely filled . Demolition of the Pool (middle) boardwalk has occurred leaving the eastern most boardwalk available for beach access. Access to the pool is currently closed due to remodeling. Grade has been set for the upper tube as seen in the photograph.
January 16, 2011
Beach quality sand from Sike’s mine is continuing to be stockpiled at the beach access site and graded at the western end of the project. Geotube placement to the west of the western most beach access has been completed. A small portion of the tubes was covered in front of the beach access to allow installation of the sand markers. Markers were also installed at the western end of the tubes per the plans in order to mark the sand depth once placed on top of the tubes. Filling of the geotubes continues to the east towards the common area boardwalk.[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
01-18-2012, 09:18 AM #11
They are indeed making huge ruts in our beaches from Grayton to the Richtreat. AA have you heard anything back on your inquiries?
Where are all of the leaders who protested the oil spill? This is as bad if not worse for our specific area?
I would be very interested in staging a protest and blocking off the path of these dump trucks by placing several tents in their path. Anyone on board?"Look with your understanding, find out what you already know and you'll see the way to fly"...
01-18-2012, 11:40 AM #12
Tip: if you lay in front of a bulldozer on the beach wear black, not white.
Do contractors need a permit from the county to drive on the beach for a project like that?
Is red clay legal on the beach?
Are sea oats protected?
Endangered species habitat?[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
02-03-2012, 01:50 PM #13
There should be no driving on the beach except for an emergency vehicle responding to a real emergency. All the vehicles which currently drive on the beach should not be allowed. There are other ways to retrieve the trash, patrol the beach and do construction activities without driving on the beach.
01-18-2012, 11:47 AM #14
Arkiehawg, my "chat" with FDEP was completely non productive. Their claim is that they only permitted construction, and have nothing to do with transportation of materials. The FDEP representative turned me back to the County. I called and talked to one Commissioner and informed one other. She said she would notify Code Enforcement and get back to me. That was only yesterday. I believe this is much worse, as far as our local situation is concerned, than the oil spill. Supposedly they received permission to transport the sand from someone in the County. It would seem that once again, money speaks the loudest.
In regard to the tents and blocking the path, our beach is "private" and I believe I can get our board of directors to go along with such a plan. Also, our beach is very narrow at this time. As I have stated previously, I do not understand how they at the Retreat feel they have the right to violate other's "private" beach in order to get to their posted "private" beach. They, as an association, should be ashamed!I think of government as the Mafia without the moral authority or predictability. Ron Hart
01-20-2012, 07:37 AM #15
I am in Gulf Trace and have seen the destruction. It's completely unbelievable what they are doing to this beach. I have seen 50 feet erode. You cannot safely walk through the state park beaches. Where are the attorneys when you need them. Someone needs to file an injunction and have a stop work order. Additionally, I suspect the communities impacted should consider a class action lawsuit.
There are other options to get the sand to the dunes.
01-20-2012, 09:49 AM #16
Seawalls and geotubes will make the beaches worse. They will interrupt the natural processes and lower the beach level during high surf, erode adjacent dunes during storms, and will make a bloody mess when a storm uncovers and scatters them.
All of that money wasted which will do more harm than good to all of us. All that money should have gone to beach restoration. Pay it into a fund instead of doing more damage.
Maybe beachfront owners should be paying large assessments for the privilege to own land that was once dunes. Yes, in effect paying for the sins of the past.
Pay the price or abandon the property so that we can repair the past mistakes and reclaim the beaches for all!
01-20-2012, 10:13 AM #17
02-03-2012, 02:00 PM #18
Yes, the DEP never wants to be the "bad guy". Wouldn't common sense tell them if they permitted the project they would need to know what method would be used to transport the sand. After all they are supposed to be protecting the environment.
01-20-2012, 09:43 AM #19
There were dozens and dozens of offenses like this in 2005. The greatest travesty since allowing dunes to be sold as residential lots. Whoever allowed that is who really deserves our never-ending scorn. If we had no houses where dunes once stood we would have wide, high beaches. And no seawalls or geotubes, both of which are one of the worst things ever done to any natural environment anywhere.
However it would have been nice in 2005 and now for someone who works for the county to have enough sense and courage to do what is right. To stand up and protect our beaches and our way of life.
Apparently we have incompetent bureaucrats in charge of one of the world's most precious resources - our beautiful beaches.
In my opinion every penny of BP money and every cent of bed tax should go toward restoring and enhancing our beaches. Doing otherwise is throwing good money after bad, not to mention negligent. To advertise for more tourists instead of taking care of our beaches is short sighted at best and criminal at worst.
01-20-2012, 10:23 AM #20
Yes I know what I am talking about, having watched and studies intently since 2005 and before. The offending work is still there, waiting to be uncovered and spread all over our beaches. Who is going to pay to clean up the thousands of tons of debris? And I'm sure all of the unacceptable soil used for most of the work will remain regardless.
I don't know who I am talking to however, a beachfront homeowner I'm guessing?
01-20-2012, 11:52 AM #21
The only thing you are right about, IMO, is that I'm a beachfront owner. The rest is pure conjecture on your part and nothing more. And yes, I am well aware of the slanted, bias environmental studies offered by some who don't have a bit of real fact to base them on. We have become a nation of the sky is falling/or will fall based on absolutely no valid proof. The pragmatic, common sense, lets build a great America, rationale I grew up with and participated in. is, IMO, long gone. I am certainly glad I lived and worked when I did.I think of government as the Mafia without the moral authority or predictability. Ron Hart
01-20-2012, 12:01 PM #22
If you were rational you'd sell. The sky isn't falling but the beach is disappearing and the seas are rising.
01-20-2012, 12:17 PM #23
I think the best thing for the beach's health would be stop beach renourishment and use that money to purchase beachfront homes too close to the gulf, demolish them, and put in public accesses.Basically, I'm just passing through on my way to Australia.
01-20-2012, 12:37 PM #24
Back to the issue at the beach today. I was running in the surf as a truck approached. I didn't move so he was forced out of the surf, and his look said he did not approve of me being there.
Many of the people who beach walk at blue mountain are older people. They cannot negotiate the wheel tracks, and therefore cannot walk our beach!
Once again I would point out that the fragile, over stressed intertidal community is being crushed to death! In the environment you can not do just one thing. everything you do affects everything else.
Andy A, I know you have tried, is there nothing that can stop this abuse of our time and our beach? For they have destroyed our beach time all winter so far!Clean water - Good for the soul !
It's Better To Wear Out, Than Rust!
01-20-2012, 01:07 PM #25
Occupy The Retreat
So, are these the same folks that say their Beach is private? I say we all head out this summer and get our tackiest beach tents and hang out in their back yards with pictures of what our beach used to look like. They have the right to destroy our beach to restore theirs.
I think we have another story for the media. I for one would be embarrassed if I lived in this neighborhood.
01-22-2012, 04:47 PM #26
- Join Date
- Dec 2004
- Arlington, TX & Dune Allen Beach
01-20-2012, 01:12 PM #27
jack s, I have called everyone I can think of that might be able to help and the silence of the response has been deafening. I have called Code Enforcement three days running, though I haven't called them today, and no response. My only suggestion would be short of blocking their path, is for all those concerned to call every Walton County official that might have the slightest impact on the issue. They will totally ignore only one person calling.I think of government as the Mafia without the moral authority or predictability. Ron Hart
01-22-2012, 08:25 AM #28
Gulf Trace 1/17/12
01-22-2012, 08:28 AM #29
Grayton Beach Access 1/17/12 Photo by Edmond Alexander
01-23-2012, 05:19 PM #32
There is a Stop Work Order sign posted in the pile of brown sand at the entrance to Grayton Beach. It was issued by Walton County at 3:15 this afternoon. Anyone know what is going on?
01-22-2012, 08:29 AM #33
Photo by Edmond Alexander
01-22-2012, 08:30 AM #34
Photo by Edmond Alexander
01-22-2012, 08:23 AM #35
The Walton Sun
Gulf Trace homeowners are imploring The Retreat to live by The Golden Rule.
The homeowners of The Retreat in Blue Mountain Beach pushed for an erosion-staunching geotube project to protect their most valuable asset — their gulf front — yet are hurting the fragile ecosystem of their eastern neighbors.
“We’re a unique subdivision,” said Ron Lewis, a Gulf Trace homeowner. “We are totally surrounded by state park and the Gulf.”
But for the past four weeks, the peace at Gulf Trace has been disturbed by dump trucks using the beach as a thoroughfare to deliver sand from Grayton Beach to The Retreat, where the sand is being used to fill the geotubes.
Geotubes are sand-filled tubes of fabric used as a buffer from the Gulf, to act as tourniquets to stem the process of beach erosion. Of the approximately 2,700 feet of The Retreat’s gulf front property, approximately 1,700 will have geotubes installed, according to Dave Lovell, past Retreat Homeowners Association president and current board member.
In order to get the sand required to fill these large sand barriers, there are two options: it can be trucked in, or it can be sent via conveyor belt to the beach. Redfish Marine Construction, the contractor for the project, is using the former method, and is using the western beach access at Grayton Beach as the staging area for the trucks to drop off the sand they have dug out along the beach to accommodate these geotubes, and take back the white sand with which to fill them.
(This is a photo taken by Ann of the pile of sand at the area where the dump trucks enter to be filled up at Grayton. Thisentry to the beach is at the end of Defuniak Street)
“(A chute) is a possible method,” said Lovell. But, “what we’re doing now is preferable.
“It was the best method for this project,” said Branch McClendon, contractor with Redfish Marine. “We are following permitted guidelines. The DEP doesn’t allow you to bring sand over an existing dune. That’s why we’re using the trucks.
“It’s armoring a property and renourishing the dunes,” he added.
“I don’t blame anybody for trying to protect their property from the elements,” said Edmond Alexander, a Grayton Beach resident. But, he added, they’re “staging it all from Grayton, and it’s destroying all of it from here.”
Where the sand is being deposited is an “OPA or otherwise protected area,” according to Alexander. The Coastal Barrier Improvement Act of 1990 established OPAs to be public or private land held for conservation purposes.
The construction equipment is leaving in its wake huge tire ruts and malcontent.
“The sand is being decompacted, tilled, essentially. It makes the beach much more vulnerable,” said Jan Rieveschl, a Gulf Trace homeowner.
“It’s like opening the Louvre and letting people use crayon on the Mona Lisa,” he added. “You can wipe it off in the morning, but it’s the very idea.”
Additionally, with trucks running Monday through Saturday, from about 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 or 4 p.m., for the past four weeks, it has been difficult for wintertime visitors to enjoy such an attraction.
The project’s permit of coastal construction was issued by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and a permit to drive on the beach with “mechanized equipment … to enhance dune restoration” was issued by the Walton County Code Enforcement Office.
“Although my office was not involved in issuing the beach access permit, we started looking into the concerns of our constituents the moment we began receiving emails, calls and walk-ins regarding the Geotube project at The Retreat, and we continue in that process,” said Walton County Commissioner Cecilia Jones. “However, it is common practice to allow entry through one of our beach accesses as long as they have all the proper State permits in hand. The magnitude of this project has undoubtedly impacted the community between The Retreat and Grayton Beach, and we are trying to find a way to mitigate that impact and satisfy all concerned.”
The homeowners of The Retreat and at Gulf Trace can agree on one thing — that it is vital to protect the beaches of South Walton.
“Why wouldn’t they protect it?” April Rieveschl said.
“We’re doing the best we can with what we’ve got — we’re just trying to make everybody happy. We are a local company. This is our backyard too,” said McClendon.
The demand of the Gulf Trace homeowners is simple, according to Jan Rieveschl, “Respect our property just as you expect us to respect yours.”
01-22-2012, 09:50 AM #36
Apparently an eyewitness said they were removing some of the red soil (natural soil found beneath dunes) from beneath the dunes at the retreat, trucking it to Grayton access, blending it with white sand, and then sending it back to the retreat.
"We got Mother Nature on the run in the 1970s"
01-22-2012, 10:58 AM #37
Does this look familiar?
01-22-2012, 06:21 PM #38
- Join Date
- Jun 2005
- Dallas/WaterColor/on computer
I have a list of all the owners in The Retreat if anyone has a plan. I was hoping to find at least one name on there that I recognized so I could try and get a property owner's side.
This has really upset me.Which community along 30A shall we pillage this evening?....gttbm
01-22-2012, 07:02 PM #39
01-23-2012, 07:25 PM #40
The stop work order is a much needed thing until this issue is resolved satisfactorily for all concerned. I am presently at M.D. Anderson and my wife is about to undergo a very exacting gamma knife procedure. I cannot express how strongly we both feel after seeing the beach in front of our condominium complex.I would really like to see this work out for all concerned but the rape of over three miles of beach has got to stop!I think of government as the Mafia without the moral authority or predictability. Ron Hart
01-23-2012, 08:07 PM #41
Pictures taken on Gulf Trace Beach 1/23
Very glad to hear about the stop work order, crossing my fingers that it will last.
I took some pictures of the tire tracks today to show how close to the houses the trucks have been going. I did notice that one truck today was going much slower than they have been in the past, but too little too late.
You can see my pictures at the following link:
01-24-2012, 11:03 AM #42
When Watercolor did a beach renourishment project some years back they set up a conveyor system that took the sand over the dune. Any reason, other than trucks disturbing the neighborhood, that Retreat couldn't have handled it this way?BEACH LOCAL
01-24-2012, 12:15 PM #43
i emailed cecelia jones a few weeks back when i first saw a large dump truck hauling what appeared to be dark sand past the blue mountain beach access. i finally heard from her, and she stated it was the Retreat project and indicated the dark sand was being removed.
01-24-2012, 12:25 PM #44
Trucks are rolling again today. I'm not sure what the stop work order was about, but it apparently had no effect.
01-24-2012, 03:56 PM #45
Yep, trucks are rolling again today. Code enforcement says the stop work order is to prevent the stockpiling of any more sand at Grayton Beach " until we have a chance to talk about it some more". He said the state would have to stop them running up and down the beach, not the counties authority.
Oh well, seemed promising.
01-25-2012, 09:23 AM #46
I guess it's ok to turn their eyes away from the big heavies tearing through the same private beach property because this is a state issue....
Since this isn't a county issue, then I guess they wouldn't act if the sand was blocked by a bunch of tents in the path of the big heavies.....hmmm"Look with your understanding, find out what you already know and you'll see the way to fly"...
01-26-2012, 11:15 AM #47
So isn't the county government there to protect us.The powers have already decided that this is critically eroded beach. It does not take a scientist to see the damage that is being done. Many have called the county, but they do nothing and watch our beach being washed away! Shouldn't THEY contact the proper state agency to get this stopped? Isn't that the way the government is supposed to work?Clean water - Good for the soul !
It's Better To Wear Out, Than Rust!
01-24-2012, 08:05 PM #48
- Join Date
- Jul 2005
- Near the ATL and in SoWal as often as possible
Oh, my goodness! I looked at Google maps, and I can't believe how far it is from Grayton Beach to The Retreat via the beach. What a disaster!
01-27-2012, 06:58 AM #49
As I have previously stated, FDEP, who issued the permit to the Retreat, states they DO NOT CONTROL THE TRANSPORTATION OF MATERIALS, ONLY THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE PROJECT. Somebudy at the County level knows what is going on and evidently will not do anything about it. I am not in a position to call anyone at this time. Tents anyone? I have the permission of member of our Association board. We will be back to SoWal shortly, hopefully.I think of government as the Mafia without the moral authority or predictability. Ron Hart
01-27-2012, 11:43 AM #50
Per county code enforcement: The contractor was stopped from stockpiling any more sand at the Grayton access point at the time of the county stop work order, and that ban has remained in effect. The contractor is trucking out the remaining sand from Grayton to the project site. An agreement was worked out with DEP yesterday for the other sand for the project to be brought in through the Retreat property.
Last edited by miznotebook; 01-27-2012 at 11:58 AM. Reason: Clarification
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