Bay County and City of Panama City Beach have enacted a "Leave No Trace" Ordinance.
What does this mean to you?
You need to help us inform all of your guests that personal property cannot be left on the beach between the hours of 9PM and 5AM. Any personal property, including tents, chairs, coolers, etc. that is left after 9PM, will be considered abandoned and will be disposed of. On public beaches or with the upland landowner's permission, guests may store personal property overnight at the Toe of the Dune at their own risk.
To help you inform your guests about the new ordinance, the TDC will provide the following items to you at NO COST:
Permanent metal signs to place at your beach access points. We will also erect these signs at all the public beach access points.
Temporary yard signs to place at your beach access points explaining the ordinance.
Temporary yard signs to inform guests where items may be stored overnight.
Vinyl clings to place on unit refrigerators, bathroom mirrors, etc. that explain the ordinance
Rack cards that explain the ordinance that can be handed out at check-in and/or mailed to visitors before they arrive.
To further inform visitors of this ordinance, we will also be executing the following multi-faceted awareness campaign:
We will be running Public Service Announcements on local TV and radio stations
We will add into rotation on our electronic billboard messaging to Leave No Trace
Each afternoon through July, we will fly a banner plane along the beach with this message
We will place temporary yard signs along the length of the beach with this message
We will make available the rack cards to the beach service vendors and Beach & Surf Patrol to hand out to visitors on the beach
We will have Beach Maintenance Contract personnel drive the length of the beach on an ATV handing out literature to our visitors and re-supplying rack cards to the beach service vendors
We will place large stickers on all beach trash cans with the ordinance information
Where is the "Toe of the Dune?"
The Toe of the Dune is the area of the beach immediately seaward of the dune and beach vegetation. Practically it is the area of the beach that is furthest from the water that is not in a sand dune or beach access point.
Items left at the Toe of the Dune will not be removed by the contractor. However, the owners of the personal property storing items at the Toe of the Dune, do so at their own risk. The County, City, TDC and its beach maintenance contractor, do not assume any liability for any items left on the beach after 9:00PM.
When does the ordinance take effect?
The ordinance is in effect now. However, we do not intend to begin enforcing the ordinance until Sunday, July 8, 2012. It will take us that long to secure the necessary modifications to our beach cleaning permits, the development of all of the materials, and to fully implement our awareness campaign.
How will the program work?
Each evening our beach maintenance contractor will travel the length of the beach and remove any items from the beach that are in violation of this ordinance.
The contractor may issue courtesy warnings for items left on the beach as we begin the implementation. When a courtesy warning is issued the material will be tagged informing the owner of the ordinance and the intent to remove the item the following evening if it is not removed.
However, these warnings are a courtesy. The contractor may remove any item from the beach whether or not a prior warning has been issued.
NOTE: There may be times and circumstances that the contractor is unable to remove items from the entire length of the beach in a single evening. This inability to fully enforce the ordinance does not change or prevent the contractor from removing the items the next evening without notice.