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EAT-SLEEP-GO FISHING
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)

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Lot of money involved I guess, applaud Walton county supporting the public, but who knows where it will end. I was concerned about the effect of the new law over here in Okaloosa county and wrote the sheriff to see if they were going to enforce it. Here is their reply. Essentially they don't enforce trespassing laws within 20 feet of the water on the beach.I guess it is one thing to have a law, but if it is not enforced, as so many are not, the laws are useless. Be interesting to see if other county sheriffs follow suit.

------------------------------------------- EMail from Okaloosa Sheriff ----------------------

RE: Trespassing on Beach

Joseph J. Fulghum<[email protected]>
6/11/2018 9:01 AM


To Mr Madden

Mr. Madden,

I apologies for my delayed response. Keep walking as you have been and you will be fine. Call us if you have any issues.

Sergeant Joseph Jason Fulghum
District 3
Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office
50 Second Street
Shalimar, Florida 32579
Voice Mail: 850-651-7702 Ext. 574
Cell: 850-685-7106

Fax: 850-609-2092

[email protected]

From: JOHN MADDEN [[email protected]]
Sent: Thursday, June 07, 2018 10:40 AM
To: Joseph J. Fulghum
Subject: Re: Trespassing on Beach

Dear Sir,

I continue to like to walk the beaches here in Okaloosa county and fish the beach waters too. I would like to get a confirmation that the Okaloosa Sheriff Department will still not enforce trespassing laws within 20 feet of the water line along the beaches. It is my understanding that the new Florida law (HB631) now gives land owners the right to control who walks or uses the beach in front of their property. I have heard the term "wet sand" is public but from my readings, public beaches still go up to the Mean High Water line as defined by Florida Statue 177, Part 11.

177.27 (14) "Mean high water" means the average height of the high waters over a 19-year period. For shorter
periods of observation, "mean high water" means the average height of the high waters after corrections
are applied to eliminate known variations and to reduce the result to the equivalent of a mean 19-year
value.
177.27 (15) Mean high-water line" means the intersection of the tidal plane of mean high water with the shore."

177.39 Determination of mean high-water line or mean low-water line.--The location of the mean
high-water line or the mean low-water line shall be determined by methods which are approved by the
department for the area concerned. Geodetic bench marks shall not be used unless approved by the
department.
History.--s. 15, ch. 74-56.

So, from what I understand, the state determines where the high tide is based on a 19 year history of tidal data.

Which means no one really knows where the Mean High Tide line is unless you get the state to survey it, which is not going to happen.

I think your policy of not enforcing any trespassing within 20 feet of the water is a good practical rule that gives the public access to the beaches and the land owners a definitive boundary for their property.

I would just like to know if I can continue to fish along the beach, on dry sand next to the water, without getting harassed by land owners or arrested.

Thank you,

John D. Madden

-------- EMAIL OF 2016 -------------------------
Trespassing on Beach

Joseph J. Fulghum<[email protected]>
2/23/2016 4:44 PM

To [email protected]

1 attachmentView

Mr. Madden,


As you will see in the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office General Order I attached, the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office will not enforce trespassing laws within twenty feet of the water line. The matter of what constitutes public and private property along the beach has been a point of contention for many years, and until non-conflicting court decision is reached, we will not address what is public or private in the area you are describing. It is plan that the area above this twenty foot zone is private. If you have any question feel free to contact me as I am the supervisor in charge of the Beach and Marine Unit.

Sergeant Joseph Jason Fulghum
Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office
East District
50 2nd Street
Shalimar Fl. 32579
Office 850-609-2094
Fax 850-609-2092
[email protected]
 

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Yes, devil in details...I would think their plat which I believe is publicly available would show boundaries that don't reach the water?
 

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Jaded Old Phart
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Blessey about to become "Most hated" in Walton county.
 

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Praedator
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Yes, devil in details...I would think their plat which I believe is publicly available would show boundaries that don't reach the water?
This is just what I've been told and could be wrong. But I was told that there are old lands that have been passed down through family that still have "OWNERSHIP" down to the water's edge.

And it's the state and governments that is trying to force these people to the "new" norm of "free" access to their property.

Most property has been sold and changed hands and got most of the titled lands up to the new standards and access rules etc... But there are some that are still titled to the water's edge in some spots. Could be wrong though.
 

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This Walter Blessey guy is apparently head of Blessey Marine in LA. According to this page, he is a great guy to work for. Just sucks to live near him I guess...

https://www.blessey.com/about
 

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Well, when the beaches get blown away, (and someday they will), charge the "owners" for beach restoration. Why should taxpayers pay to restore private beaches?
And no publicly supported homeowners insurance either, if you can’t afford to insure your property without government assistance then you don’t get to live there.
 

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This is just what I've been told and could be wrong. But I was told that there are old lands that have been passed down through family that still have "OWNERSHIP" down to the water's edge.

And it's the state and governments that is trying to force these people to the "new" norm of "free" access to their property.

Most property has been sold and changed hands and got most of the titled lands up to the new standards and access rules etc... But there are some that are still titled to the water's edge in some spots. Could be wrong though.
That looks consistent with what I found...here's one of his properties and it reads "to mean high water line..." on the legal description and the other properties look similar
 

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EAT-SLEEP-GO FISHING
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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
r
Well, when the beaches get blown away, (and someday they will), charge the "owners" for beach restoration. Why should taxpayers pay to restore private beaches?

Several miles of Walton beaches were replenished several years ago with taxpayers money. There is little to no problem in this area. The area that is fighting customary use fought replenishment of their miles of beaches and eventually the earmarked funds were withdrawn by the TDC, state, and federal government and the Corps of Engineers permits were pulled. The landowners knew if their beaches were renourished with public funds that would be a negative in their fight. This issue will go on for years and now that a suit is in the federal system it will eventually end up in the U. S. Supreme Court. No need for social media to argue and rehash years of past litigation. In a few years the issue will be decided by the highest court in the land.
 

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Blessey about to become "Most hated" in Walton county.
No, the most hated man in Walton County has to be that crochety SOB over in Vizcaya. He is the fellow that made news for verbally assaulting people on "his" beach. I believe he ended up being removed via the WCSO. But then again, Blessey is down near Stallworth and those folks are some really unpleasant people.

The county F'ed this whole thing up by selling people property to MHWL.

The property owners are F'ing up by not conceding anything. Beach re-nourishment will end up doing them in. Then again, most houses along Walton County are beach armored with sheet piles. After Opal wiped the place out. Beach armor went in along along it.
If not beach re-nourishment, sea turtles, nesting shore birds, or endangered beach mice will get their property "adjusted" by some federal environmental agency.
 

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I don't see this going over very well on any of our beaches. The beaches are a resident's fair game. We should always have unfettered access to them. If the county tries to use my tax dollars for beach renourishment and then tries to deny me access to that beach, they're gonna be in for one hell of a fight. Already hearing issues with this and the law isn't even active yet. A good friend of mine went down to Perdido Key and had an actual deputy tell him he was trespassing for walking on the sand in front of some condos. I was under the impression this law didn't go into effect until July 1st. Either way, I told my friend of his rights and that it was illegal to try and trespass him from the beach. He wasn't too happy. Anyone run across this kind of stuff please PM me so I can attempt to set these people straight. I plan on going to Perdido tomorrow to try and find the deputy/persons that are blatantly disregarding the law.
 

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The western end of Walton County beaches has been renourished. It started at the western edge of Topsail Hill Preserve State Park and finished up at the eastern Okaloosa County line. Even though this has been done, I have found most homeowners along this stretch of beach DO NOT recognize the erosion control line that was set in place after the renourishment. Oh how they simply forget, the public does have the right to park an umbrella, chair , towel anywhere along this stretch of beach. The only use not allowed along this stretch is vendor use unless it`s on a for hired property or public access.
So from here on out, I pay my taxes in Walton County and it looks like it`s ALL going to be spent on fighting for the beach. THAT SUCKS.
I don`t visit the beach but a few times out of the year. There is plenty of priority projects in Walton County our tax dollars could be used for. Unfortunately millions will be pissed away on just this issue.
 

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C-Hawk 245 Pilot House
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Has the "eminent domain" angle been addressed? Looks like the good of the vast majority would win out. Land owners should be compensated for loss of "their" beach.
 

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So from here on out, I pay my taxes in Walton County and it looks like it`s ALL going to be spent on fighting for the beach. THAT SUCKS.
I don`t visit the beach but a few times out of the year. There is plenty of priority projects in Walton County our tax dollars could be used for. Unfortunately millions will be pissed away on just this issue.
This is the real issue people should be looking at.
 
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