BREAKING NEWS: Gov. Scott Takes Executive Action to Protect Access to Beaches

ARTICLE UPDATED on 9/4/18

The Walton County Customary Use Hearing will be held September 8, 2018 at South Walton High School, located at 645 Greenway Trail, Santa Rosa Beach. The meeting will begin at 9:00am.

In order to provide the public with access to the September 8th Customary Use Hearing, Walton County will stream the meeting on YouTube. The stream will begin at 9:00am CST and will be stopped during any breaks as well as for lunch. When the meeting resumes following breaks, a new stream will begin

While this is being done as a public service, the County cannot guarantee the full quality of the stream due to using a third part provider, as well as any unknown issues that may arise with internet service at the location.

The meeting will be able to be viewed at the following: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC22sjauBXa_GnLZgr1ElZfQ

Perhaps the most important thing you can do is to submit a written affidavit documenting your personal experience seeing and enjoying Customary Use of our beaches. Many local businesses and organizations have been set up to help locals and visitors quickly and easily submit affidavits that will be used to help establish Customary Use. To learn more, visit: www.facebook.com/FloridaBeachesforAll

More details can be found on the official Walton County website.

Governor Rick Scott Signs Executive Order Calling on Florida Counties to Not Limit Access to Beaches

Governor Rick Scott today issued Executive Order 18-202, which urges Florida counties to protect public beach access and directs the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to support these efforts. The executive order specifically calls on counties to not limit access to beaches. In March, Governor Scott signed HB 631, sponsored by Senator Kathleen Passidomo (R-Naples) and Representative Katie Edwards-Walpole (D-Sunrise), which passed the Florida Legislature with an overwhelming, bipartisan majority.

“Florida is home to the world’s best beaches, and every Floridian and visitor has the right to fully enjoy our state’s natural resources. Florida beaches belong to all of us, and people from across the world visit Florida because of them – and we are going to keep it that way,” said Governor Scott.

“Last session, HB631 was passed with overwhelming support from both Democrats and Republicans,” Scott continued. “Unfortunately, the legislation has now created considerable confusion and some have even interpreted it as restricting beach access. I’m committed to keeping our beaches open to the public and this executive order makes this commitment clear. Today, I am ordering the Department of Environmental Protection to do everything in their power to advocate to keep our beaches open and public.”

“Also, I am putting a moratorium on any new state regulation that could inhibit public beach access and also urging local government officials to take similar steps to protect Floridians’ access to the beach.”

Government’s job is to help solve problems, and in Florida, when there is an issue or confusion surrounding legislation, we take action to address it. Florida is the most beautiful state in the nation. We have hundreds of miles of pristine coastline and we are known for having the best beaches across the world. We absolutely cannot do anything that changes that.”

The new Executive Order takes the following action to protect public beach access:

1. The Governor’s executive order imposes a moratorium on executive state agencies adopting any rule or restriction to inhibit the public’s access to Florida’s beaches, unless there is a clear risk to public safety;

2. The Governor directs the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to serve as an advocate for the public’s right to public beach access. This includes establishing an online reporting tool so Floridians with concerns about beach access can provide input. DEP will compile this input and submit a report to the Florida Legislature and the Governor before the next legislative session. DEP will also serve as a liaison to local governments to ensure the public’s right to access the beach is protected;

3. The Governor urges all local government entities to not adopt any rule or ordinance that would restrict or eliminate the public’s access to Florida’s beaches. He is calling on every county in Florida to not take any action that limits access to beaches; and

4. The Governor urges State Attorneys in Florida to protect Floridians’ constitutional right to access the beach.

Enjoy a summer getaway at Alys Beach, the premier luxury resort town on Florida's Gulf Coast. Alys Beach is a unique New Urbanist community that combines stunning architecture with the gracious character of courtyard living. Guests can tailor their vacation to include the finest culinary talents in the region, distinctive shopping choices, outdoor activities on an exclusive beach, winding nature trails, and a state of the art wellness center. The utmost in beauty and luxury awaits.