Call to Action

Discussion in 'All About SoWal' started by sunshine, Jul 6, 2005.

  1. sunshine

    sunshine Beach Lover

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    I propose the following letter to the Walton County Tourist Development Council, with a carbon copy to the Walton Sun. If you would like your name attached, please PM with your real name, home town, and whether or not you own property in Walton County. Thank you for your time -



    Tropical Storm Cindy was wonderful for us because of the amount of sand that was deposited onto our sorely malnourished beaches. Tropical Storm Cindy was terrible for us because of this same sand.

    Why??

    The sand buried the bases of many of the tents that had been left overnight on the beach. The wind broke the support poles to within inches of the current surface of the sand. These poles are dangerous and hard to see. The tops are rusty and close to the ground. (Imagine your family playing frisbee, football or volleyball on the beach and one of them running into or onto one of these spikes). The bases are now over a foot or two deep into the sand, generally anchored with sand bags or milk cartons, making them extremely difficult to dig out.

    Numerous beach chairs, umbrellas, blankets and towels left by our visitors are now buried in the sand. Additionally, docks, walkways, and other assorted items that were left by Tropical Storm Arlene have now been buried, or partially so.

    Most visitors with whom I speak do not even know that it is against the law to leave tents, chairs, etc. out overnight.

    Our Walton Count Tourist Development Council (TDC) is doing a wonderful job of educating our visitors on the beach flag systym and I am confident that they are working diligently in educating our visitors about sharks and other marine wildlife. However, they need to do more.

    First, by leaving the debris from Arlene out for so long, we are sending a message to our visitors that we don't care about our beaches. Arlene hit nearly a month ago and the debris is still there. This debris should have been removed promptly after the storm. How can our visitors take any passing hint of knowledge about removing items from the beach when we (Walton County) don't even do it ourselves? Additionally, much of this mess is now buried and can now truly be classified as pollution. It is hazardous and dangerous to the environment and wildlife (including our children).

    Second, the TDC should include an easy to read, easy to understand informational flyer with each rental packet (the folder with coupons and stuff that you get when you check in). This flyer would contain a brief summary of the laws regarding stuff on the beach, surf fishing dos and don'ts, sea turtle rules, etc.

    Finally, the Sheriff's office should be encouraged to enforce these rules - perhaps 1st with a warning, but secondly with removal of items left on the beach, or tickets, whichever is appropriate for the situation.

    Thank you for your prompt action on these urgent matters regarding our beaches,


    Respectfully,


    Garner Chandler
     
  2. FoX

    FoX Beach Fanatic

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    I agree that the we should be prepared to remove storm debris immediately after a storm. And there should be action before a storm (if not all the time) to reduce the amount of stuff on the beaches, which may take citizen volunteers.

    I'm beginning to think that the County is happy that a lot of it has been buried so they don't have to deal with it.
     
  3. kurt

    kurt Admin Staff Member

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    [​IMG]

    This photo was after a normal night, not after a storm.
     
  4. Miss Kitty

    Miss Kitty Meow

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    sunshine...I have sent you a PM to add our names to the list. Thank you for taking the time to do this. We haven't been down since Arlene, however the pics on this website are SO disturbing. Education is always the way...the idea of a flyer of sorts in the renters packets could cover this as well as flag system and a reminder that creatures DO live in the ocean. Of course, not everyone will read or heed the warnings (and I am sure some of this is done by homeowners as well), but it is a good start.
     

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