I write the June Grass Report because I have always loved going to the beach, so I want to share something that brings me happiness with others.
However, sometimes visitors to the beach forget where they are, act badly, and spoil what would be a great experience for other visitors, both locals and tourists. If you treat others the way you wish to be treated at the beach you won’t need to read any further, see you at the beach!
I live here, although I haven’t always. My job has nothing to do with the hospitality industry, so if you don’t like something I write and choose not to vacation here, then I really don’t care! In fact if I write something that offends you it is probably because you are guilty of the aforementioned bad beach behavior.
I don’t have to put up with your bad behavior because you have more money than I do. Period.
You are a visitor here if you are on a public beach. Sure, you may have paid to access the beach, but that doesn’t mean you own the place. It means you are paying an impact fee to diffuse the economic and ecological “footprint” of your beach visit (fees go for things like lifeguards, benches, bathrooms, t.p. in said bathrooms, garbage removal, fences, boardwalks, sea oats planting, etc.).
If you want to pay for the privilege to act boorish then go be a guest (see the difference between “guest” and “visitor”?) at one of the many purportedly fine and expensive resorts that we have here on the Emerald Coast.
Otherwise try to act like a decent human being while you are enjoying the beach. I really don’t think that is asking too much.
Here is what I think acting like a decent human being at the beach entails:
Please use common sense: pick up after yourself, both trash and beach items, enjoy your alcohol, tobacco, and loud music elsewhere, leave glass containers and pets at home, respect wildlife by observing from a distance, and be aware of your surroundings. Your common sense and courtesy will help those who protect the beaches, through conservation and public safety, to do their jobs more efficiently and safely. Ultimately your thoughtful and courteous behavior will keep the beach a fun and safe place for everybody.