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Abandoned beach gear threatens nesting sea turtles

By Jennifer Glenfield, Islander Reporter

Chairs, toys, umbrellas and canopies left on the beach overnight July 5 were confiscated in Holmes Beach and are being held at the public works department. Islander Photo: Courtesy David Forbes

Beachgoers left more than footprints behind on the beaches over the July 4 weekend.

Holmes Beach code enforcement canvassed the beaches July 5 after sunset, confiscating beach accessories that can be dangerous to nesting sea turtles.

Leaving accessories on the beach overnight violates city code. Furniture and other items pose hazards to nesting sea turtles.

According to code enforcement officer David Forbes, 31 beach chairs, five umbrellas, three buckets of toys and six canopy frames were confiscated.

In addition, Forbes said code enforcement stacked lounge chairs belonging to beachside resorts, and in some cases dragged them closer to the dunes.

Confiscated items are stored at public works for 90 days before they are thrown out.

Forbes said code enforcement canvassed the beaches until 1 a.m. the night of July 5 collecting items left on the beach.

Forbes said in spite of the large holiday haul on the beach, code enforcement infractions regarding sea turtle ordinances have improved dramatically this season.

Forbes and public works employee Bob Mclaughlin also walked the beach July 7 to educate beachgoers about the ordinance restricting items left on beaches.

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