Word the Beach Wise

We are BIG fans of Jetty Park. We’ve been going to here for as long as I can remember (at least 15 years) for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that it’s a relatively calm beach for families with small children. My other half loves to fish so he can do that while the kids and I play in the water. Lots of people camp there as well as watch the cruise ships leave the ports. And they recently built a new comfort station that’s really nice, complete with a bait shop, snack bar and nice bathrooms all indoors in air conditioning. Also they’ve added more outdoor showers so you can wash the salt and sand off of you before you head the hour or so ride home.

Earlier this week, my son and I went over to fish and swim a bit at Jetty. It was a blistering hot day and the air was barely moving, even on jetty. So we went to take a dip in the ocean to cool off a bit. What we found was a huge mess, that in all of my years of going out there, I have never seen. Seaweed wasn’t just littering the shoreline, it had completely obscured it about 40 yards from the water line onto shore. I’m talking — no visible sand. It’s littered with human trash as well as oceanlife, so the smell… well… you can guess.

coastal-ecosystems-1.jpgThe lifeguards had kindly cleared a “path” to the ocean down the way … and had attempted to try to rake back some of the seaweed with a tractor to expose the sand for beach goers. Once you got in the water, you had to wade through this same much for about 20-30 yards to get to clear waters.

Ok, so you’re sitting there saying, “what a wuss… what a wimp.” I’m not the squeamish type. Truly. Things touching me in the water do not conjure images of Jaws or Up From the Depths. But we’re not talking a few bits and particles here… we’re talking MAJOR amounts of seaweed that make you think twice about getting in or getting out!

I was talking to one of the lifeguards and he commented that it was the worst he’d ever seen in his years and years of being a guard. I also asked him how long he thought it might take to clear up. He of course referenced the tropical storm we had last week and the fact that the Jetty, with the way it’s built, kinda becomes a catchall for oceantrash like this.

Anyway, be aware that this beach will probably be yicky until the next full moon. Wear your water shoes!

1 Comment so far

  1. Terry Howard (unregistered) on July 25th, 2006 @ 10:42 pm

    This was the case like a year ago I recall last summer. At that time the guy at the bait shop in the park told me that they had done some dredging of the port and the pushed out sediment created a collector for all the seaweed and not to mention a stench that smelled like rotten eggs (it really stinks under the sea floor.) Canaveral seashore to the north however was also especially weedy a couple weekends ago. Every time I reeled in I had a giant wad of weeds hanging from my rigging.

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