Recommendations for "SoWal Good Tourist Guide" to post in vacation rentals

Discussion in 'Rentals - Vacation' started by Paula, May 18, 2005.

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  1. Paula

    Paula Beach Fanatic

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    As promised, I've attached below the information I post in a very visible place in our vacation rental cottages so that guests will know how to be good citizens of SoWal beaches. Most guests do want to be good citizens of SoWal, yet many don't know the regulations and thus don't know they should stay off the dunes, not shine bright lights at night, etc. So, I find that our guests appreciate knowing this information. You are welcome to use this list if you find it helpful. Also, I'd be interested in hearing what else should be on this list or if anything should be reworded. I hope it's helpful.

    WALTON COUNTY BEACH REGULATIONS

    Thank you for adhering to the following Walton County Regulations. These regulations are designed to protect your safety (we care about the safety of our guests) and the beauty of our beautiful beaches for today and generations to come.

    Flag system: Please respect Mother Nature. The ocean is lovely, but has a mind of its own. Although the ocean everywhere can surprise people with dangerous conditions, South Walton County has taken special care to warn residents and guests of potentially dangerous conditions by implementing a flag system. Green indicates favorite swimming conditions. Yellow means moderate surf and currents. Purple alerts the public to dangerous marine life. Red means rough conditions, including strong surf and rip currents (stay out of ocean). Red over red bans the public from entering Gulf waters with the exception of surfers tethered to their boards. For your safety, note the following:
    ? Rip tides: Rip tides can be severe, so please take the flag system seriously. Remember, you can build sandcastles and gaze at the ocean or swim at the pool for safe swimming when flags indicate the ocean isn't safe for swimming.
    ? How to swim out of a rip tide: Riptides are fast-moving currents that sometimes occur in the ocean near the shore. Although they are dangerous, they tend to cover a narrow area. If you find yourself caught in a riptide, stay calm, swim parallel to the shore until you swim out of the riptide area, then swim safely to shore.

    Protect Sand Dunes. Don?t walk on beach vegetation and always used beach access areas.

    Protect Sea Turtles: Sea Turtles are an endangered species. They lay their eggs along the Beaches of South Walton. Avoid the use of flashlights near nests in the evening, do not leave beach chairs and other items on the beach overnight (they block the turtles' path), and keep your distance if you see turtles or eggs. Sea turtles are protected by federal and state law and substantial fines and federal imprisonment may result from killing, harming, or even interfering with a sea turtle.

    Dog care: Dogs are allowed on the beach only between 6:00 pm and 8:00 am and only if they are owned by a local resident and if they have a beach tag permit. All dogs on the beach must be leashed. The owner of any animal is required to clean up any waste deposited by the animal on either public or private property. Failure to do so can result in a $50.00 fine. Dogs assisting people who are sight or hearing impaired are allowed on the beach with owner at any time.

    Littering: No littering on the beach and no glass containers on the beach.

    Alcohol: Alcohol is allowed on the beach except in the state parks. Again, no glass.

    Vehicles: Driving on the beach is permitted only in certain areas and only by Walton County property owners with a vehicle permit decal and only between the hours of sunrise and 10:00 pm except for vehicles recovering boats. The permits are available for $150 for vehicles not launching boats and $200 for vehicles launching boats. Beach speed limit is 15 mph.

    Bonfires: Beach bonfires are permitted with a permit from the South Walton Sheriff?s Department. Permits are $50.00 with $25 refundable after a deputy inspects the area. The permits are good for one fire 3 feet by 3 feet, for one 24-hour period. Bonfires can be anywhere on the beach seaward of the vegetation line and 250 feet away from any sea turtle nest.

    Sand removal: It is unlawful to remove sand from the beach.

    Camping: Overnight camping is prohibited.

    Fishing License: Adults between the ages of 16 and 64 need a fishing license before fishing in the South Walton waters. Licenses may be purchased through the county tax collector?s office and at many bait and tackle shops. You may also call 1-888-347-4356 or visit www.marinefisheries.org to buy a license by phone or over the Internet. If you are taking a charter to go fishing, ask your charter boat captain if licenses are included in the trip. Many charters will take care of that for you and include the licenses in the fee.

    Advice: Don?t swim in the Gulf when jelly fish or Portuguese men-of-war are present. If stung by a jelly fish, rinse area with seawater (not fresh water because it will increase pain). Do not rub or apply ice. Apply acetic acid (vinegar) or isopropyl alcohol. Remove tentacles from skin immediately with tweezers to stop more poison from entering the skin. Apply shaving cream or paste of baking soda or mud. Shave area with razor or knife and reapply vinegar or alcohol to fix unactivated nematocysts. Immobilize the extremity to prevent spreading of poison. Hydrocortisone cream may be applied 2-3 times daily for itchen. Discontinue immediately if any signs of infection appea. Eye stings should be irrigated with 1 gallon of fresh water. Watch for reactions that may suggest an allergic reaction ? shortness of breath, general itching beyond the immediate area of the sting, or other symptoms that may suggest an allergic reaction.

    Thanks for adhering to these regulations and remembering that we are partners with Mother Nature in keeping the SoWal beaches among the most beautiful and environmentally-protected in the U.S.
     
  2. JB

    JB Beach Fanatic

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    I think that is great. There should be a law requiring it be posted in any home/condo that is rented.
     
  3. Bob

    Bob SoWal Insider

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    If you are surf fishing, is a license necessary?
     
  4. kurt

    kurt Admin Staff Member

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    Good stuff Paula. :clap_1:

    Bob - You do not need a license if you are:


    ? Any child under 16 years of age.

    ? Any resident who is a member of the United States Armed Forces and not stationed in this state, when home on leave for 30 days or less, upon submission of orders.

    ? Any person fishing who has been accepted as a client for developmental disabilities services by the Children and Family Services, provided the department furnishes proof thereof.

    ? Any resident fishing in saltwater from land or from a structure fixed to the land.

    ? Any person fishing from a for-hire vessel (guide, charter, party boat) that has a valid vessel license.

    ? Any person fishing from a vessel, the operator of which has a valid vessel license issued in the name of the operator of the vessel.

    ? Any person who holds a valid saltwater products license (SPL).

    ? Any person fishing for recreational purposes from a pier that has been issued a valid pier saltwater fishing license.

    ? Any resident fishing for a saltwater species in fresh water from land or from a structure fixed to land.

    ? Any resident fishing for mullet in fresh water who has a valid Florida freshwater fishing license.

    ? Any resident 65 years of age or older who has in her or his possession proof of age and residency. A no-cost license under this paragraph may be obtained from any tax collector's office upon proof of age and residency and must be in the possession of the resident during hunting, freshwater fishing, and saltwater fishing activities. ? Any employee of the commission who takes freshwater fish, saltwater fish, or game as part of employment with the commission, or any other person authorized by commission permit to take freshwater fish, saltwater fish, or game for scientific or educational purposes.

     
  5. kurt

    kurt Admin Staff Member

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    We could add the link to turtle watch:
    http://www.seaturtlewatch.org

    They do have a brochure that I've seen around that covers all the turtle info.
     
  6. kurt

    kurt Admin Staff Member

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  7. kurt

    kurt Admin Staff Member

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    Add:

    It is unlawful to pick sea oats. Dune vegetation is vital to maintaining dunes.
     
  8. kurt

    kurt Admin Staff Member

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    Add:

    It is illegal to leave items such as umbrellas, chairs, tents, toys, etc. on the beach overnight. Such items can cause accidents and are dangerous to nesting sea turtles and their offspring.

    Please refill holes dug in the sand, even small ones - people will fall into them and break something!

    Do not allow anyone to dig caves or tunnels in the sand. Suffocation deaths have ocurred from collapsing caves and tunnels.

    Children who are not toilet trained should wear swimmies in all waters.

    Remain clothed. Unfortunately, there are no nude beaches in SoWal. At least not during the day. :lol: - might leave that one out.
     
  9. Paula

    Paula Beach Fanatic

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    Glad the list is helpful. The additional information is helpful, too. I'll revise it based on new information and bring the new version to the cottages this summer.

    Regarding the fishing and "residents", would someone be considered a resident if their main residence was in another state but they owned property in SoWal?
     
  10. beachmouse

    beachmouse Beach Fanatic

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    Do people still use Deer Lake SP as an unofficial nude gay beach? I can remember the summer we'd decided to hit every state park in the panhandle, getting to Deer Lake, and realizing that I was the only woman anywhere around, and that some of the dudes were doing their best to, um, avoid getting tan lines.

    In vehicles, mention that cars are supposed to stop for pedestrians looking to enter a crosswalk. Also that bicycles are legally allowed to share the road with cars, (riding with traffic) and don't have to use the bike path if they don't want to. It's dangerous for the 20mph bikers to try to share the path with recreational bikers and joggers.
     
  11. kurt

    kurt Admin Staff Member

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    Have to be a FLA resident.
     
  12. kurt

    kurt Admin Staff Member

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    The part of the park you're talking about is now WaterSound, and was always owned by St. Joe even though most people didn't know it. Before WaterSound started, the cops did crack down on the happenings there. No pun intended.

    Unfortunately, 30-A has become unsafe for bikes. I keep on the bike path and slow it down in congested area.
     
  13. seagrovelover

    seagrovelover little sugar

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    Good info Paula, as a "renter" it is really great to know all of the rules :clap_1:
     
  14. JB

    JB Beach Fanatic

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    I wonder if the area to the east of the Navarre Beach toll bridge is still a nude sunbathing area? It's all military property with zero development along the gulf from there almost to FTW
     
  15. Bob

    Bob SoWal Insider

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    Thanks Kurt, Surf fishing now reminds me of an old Simpson's episode where Homer is jumping back and forth over the boundry lines at the U.S. embassy in Australia. Walk out, illegally cast, walk back, legally wait for the fish to strike, walk out in the water to illegally net/land fish, walk fish ashore to show to illegal, unlicensed family dog and/or nekkid kid, and later cook the fish on illegal, unlicensed bonfire. Finish the evening by breaking my big toe on the walkover because I can't use a flashlight or roadflare to find my way back to the rental house.
     
  16. kurt

    kurt Admin Staff Member

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    :floor:

    Or you could drive your unstickered illegal jeep out on Grayton Beach and then throw it in reverse to legally drive on the pavement.

    And pour your illegal beer from a glass bottle into a legal plastic cup, then hop in and out of your jeep with it - open container violation, not, open container, not, open . .. .
     
  17. Landlocked

    Landlocked Beach Fanatic

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    I generally try to keep sand out of my shorts on the beach. I don't know how that would work on a nude beach. :lolabove:
     
  18. Bob

    Bob SoWal Insider

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    Legal...............illegal............legal.............illegal..............doooooooh!
     
  19. kurt

    kurt Admin Staff Member

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  20. ShallowsNole

    ShallowsNole Beach Fanatic

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    That's a major undertaking, but it sounds good to me. I *think* the TDC has brochures on the flag warning system, but I don't know of anyone else who has such concise & correct information in one place.
     
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