Under Florida law, the public has the right to access the beach even if it is located in front of private property. This is as long as they remain between the waterline and the erosion control line, which is usually close to high tide. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is dedicated to providing Floridians and visitors with the opportunity to explore and enjoy the access points to public beaches along the Florida coast. Recently, a federal appeals court overturned a ruling that supported owners of waterfront properties in a dispute with a Pinellas County city over access to public beaches.
This story brings to mind those who resist in Flagler Beach and who stubbornly refuse to allow the county easement access to their small, unbuildable “dune property” in order to restore them and help save both the dunes and the beach's own sand. Videos of confused police officers kicking people off Florida beaches without being able to explain the law to swimmers went viral. It turns out that the line between what is a public beach and what is a private beach is blurred at best. The beach shrinks, expands and changes shape in response to storms, rising sea levels and artificial structures such as dikes and piers. As an example, he said he saw some fishermen waiting on the dry sand beach while their poles were mounted on the wet sand.
The Florida Constitution guarantees public access to parts of beaches “below the average waterline”, often referred to as humid beach areas. Sarasota County officials ordered the Olsons to remove the rope and wooden posts because these structures went beyond the Gulf Beach recoil line, which is another layer of permits established in 1978 to protect Sarasota County beaches from environmental degradation. For example, eminent domain actions require 12-person juries, while individuals can be found guilty and ultimately sentenced to life imprisonment by six-person juries, at least in Florida. How irresponsible can some beachside property owners be when they believe that their personal rights and desires should outweigh those of the public when it comes to accessing and maintaining beaches for future enjoyment? Barbara Stephens was accused of unauthorized entering Shell Road beach and plans to fight this accusation in court. The Friends of Shell Road Beach Facebook page has been a great source of information for those looking for answers about public beach access in Florida. It is important for everyone to understand their rights when it comes to accessing public beaches in Florida.
Knowing your rights can help you avoid any potential legal issues that may arise from accessing a beach that may be considered private property. It is also important for everyone to understand that there are certain restrictions when it comes to accessing public beaches in Florida. For example, swimming or fishing beyond the erosion control line or within a certain distance from a pier or dock may be prohibited. Additionally, some areas may have restrictions on camping or bonfires on public beaches. Overall, it is important for everyone to understand their rights when it comes to accessing public beaches in Florida. Knowing your rights can help you avoid any potential legal issues that may arise from accessing a beach that may be considered private property.
Additionally, understanding any restrictions that may be in place can help ensure that everyone enjoys their time at the beach safely and responsibly.