Keep Off The Dunes

Discussion in 'All About SoWal' started by kurt, Aug 7, 2005.

  1. kurt

    kurt Admin Staff Member

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    A lot has been written on this site about reasons to keep off the dunes. A few minutes of people in the dunes taking photos, or kids playing, can undo decades of slow natural processes that build the dunes. They are very fragile. They are disappearing at an alarming rate. It is illegal to walk in the dunes or pick vegetation.

    The problem is magnified by the loss of dunes from storms, yet the abuse by visitors seems to be getting worse. We must protect what we have left. Please help by spreading the word and educating anyone you see in the dunes. We also need to make sure locals and property owners are well informed.

    Last night there was a wedding on Grayton Beach with over 50 people. They had set up a camping tent in the dunes. As the sun set and the happy couple had been sent on their way, the whole party started off the beach right through the dunes (a Sheriff's deputy in a vehicle was not 50 yards away and he did not flinch). Also during this time there were many other people in the dunes.

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    Last edited: Aug 10, 2005
  2. Miss Kitty

    Miss Kitty Meow

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    Kurt, I am looking at a beautiful photo our family had taken in Grayton Beach in the summer of 1992 (boy I look good!!!). Here's the catch...we are sitting in the dunes surrounded by sea oats. (she had us sit on a towel...surely not to safeguard the dunes!) This photo was taken by a well respected photographer who lived in Grayton Beach at the time. Believe me when I say, we had NO idea this was a violation but surely our photographer should have known! This appears to be an age old problem. I hope your message gets out...now more than ever.
     
  3. SHELLY

    SHELLY SoWal Insider

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    If trampling through the dunes is illegal then maybe the area residents need to set up a quasi official "Dune Watch" (modeled after city and town Street Watches). Additionally, any photographer applying for a business license should sign a contract stating that they will not put subjects on the dunes, and if they are caught photographing subjects on the dunes (or identified by the Dune Watchers) they should be heavily fined and have their business licenses pulled by the county.

    Hoping that visitors and business people will suddenly respect the dunes just isn't enough--the arrogant few will destroy dunes faster than nature (or man, for that reason) can repair.
     
  4. Smiling JOe

    Smiling JOe SoWal Expert

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    I think they need a poopie in their tent. Unfortunately, they probably purchased the tent for purposes of the wedding only. Shame, Shame, Shame! They probably don't have a clue.

    I like the idea about fining the photographers for setting up people in the dunes, but we would be better off with a stick, because as you know, the County does not really care about enforcing any rules - we may offend a tourist.

    I feel like pulling a little Beastie Boy mischief and leaving a note on site with the reasons as to why I took such actions.:bang:
     
  5. Ocean Lover

    Ocean Lover bean

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    I want to be a respectful tourist and I have a question. In the picture, the tent doesn't look like it is in the dunes but on the edge of the dune. I would love to get some nice family pictures but I guess I'm not sure as to what classifies a dune. Something with sea oats planted on it or just the sand piled up? Especially at Grayton where the dunes may not be as big in certain areas. Please educate me!
     
  6. kurt

    kurt Admin Staff Member

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    The photo does not show the scene very well. It was in the dunes.

    These days with restoration there are lots of piles of sand that haven't been planted yet that need protection. They will settle some on their own and need a natural compaction without being disturbed.

    Anything other than the flat part of the beach should be avoided. In years past, homeowners, the county, and state helped keep traffic off with fencing and signs, but they have yet to appear, and may not in some cases.
     
  7. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    The photo shows the tent set up on the dunes at Grayton Beach where the dune is not very dune like these days after the storms. In the past these dunes were posted with "keep off the dunes" signs and were surrounded by dune fencing to help them build up. For some reason, walton county has not replaced signs or dune fencing in quite some time. they are needed now more than ever!!!

    Meanwhile, tourists really do not know about dunes - especially the small flat dunes that are in serious need of rebuilding. The poor dune doesn't stand a chance these days.

    Maybe we need to scream for more signs and fencing.
     
  8. Smiling JOe

    Smiling JOe SoWal Expert

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    Maybe we could get a lifeguard chair on the beach, turn it toward the dunes, and man it with a kid with a BB gun to hit... WAIT, stop! I did not say that.
     
  9. Ocean Lover

    Ocean Lover bean

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    Got it, thanks. I wouldn't want to end up with a bb in my bootie. :shock:
     
  10. Beach Runner

    Beach Runner beats on hood

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    What about the big mounds of sand that have been scraped, but not pushed all the way to the bottom of the cliffs (formerly dunes)? Should I be reminding people not to walk on those? What effect are the tidal pools between these mounds of sand and the cliffs having on them? Is it sorta like when you build a big sand castle and the waves washing up behind it just wash it away? Does the county plan to push those mounds all of the way to the edge of the cliffs? BTW it looks awful, especially with those slimey looking tidal pools. But if it will eventually help the beach, I'm cool with it. Just wondering.
     
  11. reece

    reece Beach Lover

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    ok - i want to follow the rules when i come down and thought i always had.
    but this thread leads me to believe that i may have been breaking the rule.
    so, please clarify for me. i thought "stay off the dunes" meant not to climb/walk/sit directly on them. I assumed you could walk "by" them. For instance, that area between Grayton and Gulf Trace....i have often walked to the beach from Grayton, "through" that dune area. i was always carefule not to walk ON a dune though, i walked on the flat part beside the dune. is that a violation too? i realize that right now it may be more important to not walk in that area, but i just want to know exactly what is meant by keeping off the dunes? :idontno:

    thanks
    reece
     
  12. kurt

    kurt Admin Staff Member

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    What was once a dune now is a path. That trail at the end of Pine Street has traditionally been used for foot traffic, although there is a sign that says keep off the dunes, people don't think the path is a dune. It's a dune preserve and any traffic is prohibited. Last year the State Park said "no more" and rental owners were upset. Then calmed down when they realized everyone could just ignore the rule and continue as they'd always done without consequence.
     
  13. Smiling JOe

    Smiling JOe SoWal Expert

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    I believe this is your point of entry. I know it is difficult to read the signs in the photo. One next to the well worn footpath states Do not walk on dunes. :bang: The other one beside the tire tracks states No vehicles allowed :bang:. My question to you is, are you following the dumb masses, or thinking for yourself?

    Oh, they placed the signs here to try to prevent people from walking on the dunes. I do not observe a sign that says Beach this way, or Public Access. So, I will find another point of entry. Obviously, if they went to the effort to post signs, there must be a reason behind it, which I will investigate. Oh, nevermind. I am on vacation.
    :bang::bang::bang:

    Sorry for all the b_tching. We are coming to the end of another season where so many people leaving poop behind. It is very frustrating. I think if we all quit our jobs for the busy season and focused on tourists education, we would never get the job done. You will never see me with the razor wire, BB gun, or pooping in the tents. Writing it is just a way in which I release some of my frustrations. Thank you for actually trying to give a hoot. I understand the confusion of the well worn path next to the signs saying keep out. Just remember to think for your own and ignore the dumb masses, and you will be a superstar.

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  14. Smiling JOe

    Smiling JOe SoWal Expert

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    You would think the owners would be the very ones wanting to protect the dunes which protect their property. I guess they would rather buy inflatable dunes after their homes are destroyed instead.
     
  15. kurt

    kurt Admin Staff Member

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    Did you notice someone painted over please? :lol:
     
  16. OhioBeachBum

    OhioBeachBum Beach Fanatic

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    Maybe you could print up a little sticker with *@#&^**$!! to paste over the "Please" ;-)
     
  17. graytonrbust

    graytonrbust Beach Lover

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    When I was a kid (60's) the dunes were so large that it was impossible to mistake if it was a dune or not....Now its hard to even see a dune in a photo.
     
  18. Smiling JOe

    Smiling JOe SoWal Expert

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    At the Beach, I guess a sign stating keep off the sand would not work, eh?
     
  19. Ocean Lover

    Ocean Lover bean

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    You will never see me with the razor wire, BB gun, or pooping in the tents. Writing it is just a way in which I release some of my frustrations. Thank you for actually trying to give a hoot. I understand the confusion of the well worn path next to the signs saying keep out. Just remember to think for your own and ignore the dumb masses, and you will be a superstar.



    We will surely try. When in doubt....we won't go there. SJ-release away...you're right...some people are very hard headed and need a wake up call. Me, of course, being a sensitive, follow the rules type, gets it the first time. We will be there Saturday. :D
     
  20. reece

    reece Beach Lover

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    SJ- thanks for flaming me. i was asking an honest question. I love to SEE the huge sand dunes, and would not intentionally do anything to harm them. no, i am not just following the masses, i am thinking for myself, thank you.

    i honestly thought that STAY OFF THE DUNES meant not to walk on the "dune" itself. i thought you could walk between them. I still thought i was doing the right thing by not walking ON the ACTUAL Dune.
    THAT IS WHY I WAS ASKING!!! because i realized through reading this thread that i might be wrong. :eek:
    maybe the sign should say DUNE PRESERVE AREA -STAY OUT.
     

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