Monday, May 29, 2017

Franklin County's "Leave No Trace" Ordinance is in effect through turtle nesting season

If you are staying on St. George Island, you should know about Franklin County’s “Leave No Trace” ordinance.

That ordinance was approved last year as a way to protect nesting sea turtles and to make the Beaches on St. George Island look cleaner.

The ordinance bans people from leaving items like tents and beach chairs on public beaches on St. George Island overnight - items that are left out can be confiscated and destroyed at the landfill.

The ordinance does allow people to keep their items on the beach as late as they want as long as they are actively using them.

Franklin County beaches are popular with sea turtles – every year hundreds of sea turtle nests are laid in our beaches and thousands of baby turtles hatch and crawl to the gulf.

When people leave item like tents and chairs out overnight it can hinder the sea turtles from laying their eggs in the dune line and can also keep hatchling sea turtles from making their way to the Gulf.

Under the “Leave no Trace” ordinance, early every week, Parks and Rec personnel go on the beach to tag items as a reminder that unattended personal property has to be removed by 9 PM.

Later in the week Park and Rec employees drive the beach with a motorized vehicle and trailer and remove unattended items – those items are taken to the landfill and destroyed.

Parks and Rec crews generally return to the beach on weekends to clean the beach and remove any unattended items again.

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