Tag Archives: ocean

Highland Beach One-Hour Cleanup

Recently, I went on a beach walk and did a one-hour beach cleanup. I started at the northernmost entrance to Spanish River Park, where there is limited street parking on Spanish River Road. I walked north towards Highland Beach.

Overall, the beach was relatively clean, though there were a few concentrations of trash, and plenty of disturbing finds.

Though it was overcast, it was an eerily beautiful beach day.

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Endless.

the beach review sailboat blog south florida

The gray sky bled into the gray sea, and without the help of a sailboat I wouldn’t have been able to tell where the horizon was.

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The sea was also silent, a rare sight on the east coast of Florida.

The Findings

Scary Findings (Or Reasons Why You Should Keep Your Shoes On at the Beach!)

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A piece of glass sticking straight up out of the sand. This was found in the park part of the beach, and is the reason why glass is prohibited on most beaches.
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I think this is a needle used for blood tests. It is hard to see in the picture, but if you look closely at the top of the teal plastic, you can see the needlepoint. Ouchies!
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A rusted, upturned bottle cap.

 

Other Findings

Continue reading Highland Beach One-Hour Cleanup

New Year’s Resolution #1 Action Plan

Resolution 1: Reduce personal consumption and output of plastics

Action plan: In our modern lives, it is hard to go a day without touching plastic, especially if you are an on-the-go person. This year, a viral video of a turtle with a straw stuck in its nose heartbreakingly showed us that our everyday choices are not without repercussions.  Continue reading New Year’s Resolution #1 Action Plan

Lauderdale-By-The-Sea

Lauderdale-By-The-Sea is your quintessential beach town. Its quaint shops, casual restaurants, dive bars,  and boutique hotels create a charming small-town atmosphere. Nestled 33 miles south of Palm Beach and 30 miles north of Miami, LBTS offers a low-key and laid-back experience in the coastal heart of South Florida.

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The Shore-t Story

Lifeguards: No

Parking: There are many different options for parking in LBTS. Recommended parking for the beach is in El Prado Parking lot and the grass lot next to it, located just north of Commercial Boulevard. Here it is $1.50 per hour, or $10 for all day. Other options included metered parallel parking, restaurant valet, parking lots on the west side of A1A, or the parking lot near the pier.

Refreshments: There are many restaurants within walking distance if you get hungry, but if you are just beaching it, it is recommended to bring your own refreshments.

Picnicking/Grilling: There are no picnic tables or grill spots near the LBTS beach. There are two covered gazebos or the grassy area at El Prado Park, but most picnicking here will be done on the actual beach.

Restrooms: The public restrooms are located behind Town Hall, which is a decent walk from the beach. This could prove problematic for anyone with small children or a bathroom emergency.

Fishing: Anglin’s Fishing Pier open 24 hours

Snorkeling/Diving: Excellent spot; the SS Copenhagen is a popular dive spot near the Sea Watch Restaurant, as is the BioRock Reef south of the pier

The Town

The entire town of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea is situated on a barrier island, meaning that on one side of the town is bordered by the intracoastal waterway, and the other side is the ocean.

Towards the end of the 2013-2014 season, aesthetic renovations to the town center were completed. Many people may have stopped going to LBTS because of the inconveniences of the construction, but worry not, because they are done and they have created many fun spots throughout the town where you can relax with family.

Murals and sculptures of sea life can be found throughout the town, every utility box is colorfully painted, and no bike rack is an eye sore. These details found throughout the town add to the charm that can only be found in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea.

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Tip: All of the hotel accommodations in LBTS are boutique hotels, which are perfect for large groups to rent out. They might not satisfy those looking for glitz and glamour, but will be a comfortable fit for those looking for a low-key vacation.


The Beach

Lauderdale-By-The-Sea’s beach provides ample room for any beach activity. It is a wide beach, so unless it is a super busy day, there is usually enough room to spread out and not crowd onto someone else’s beach blanket.

Just north and south of the pier will usually be the largest concentration of people, even though you are supposed to stay at least 300 feet away from the actual pier when you are in the water. Go south of the pier if you want to snorkel the BioRock Reef; go just north of the pier if you are looking for a fun atmosphere near the town center.

As you continue north on the beach away from the town center, the upbeat tempo of reggae beats from a restaurant’s musician will fade away, and you will be left with the sound of the ocean waves and the faint chatter of the beach crowd.

Even in this area north of the pier where there is not a reef, you can still snorkel and see many different fish just offshore. Snorkeling directly offshore LBTS is great for beginners.

The other area that becomes concentrated with people is the access point at El Prado park. Across from El Prado park are two decent sized parking lots for daytrippers. El Prado Park is a nice grassy area good for picnicking or playing frisbee, and it is framed by colorful adirondack chairs and umbrellas. There are two gazebos that offer shade and some excellent people watching.

This beach does not have lifeguards. They do have life rings available just in case, but everyone here is swimming at their own risk.

Would we classify this beach as being family friendly? Yes and no. Yes,  if you are on vacation and have your own hotel room, with an accessible toilet and air conditioning. No, if you are a daytripper, because there are no lifeguards and no public restrooms in a comfortable vicinity. We would recommend Pompano Beach, just north of LBTS, that features a playground, bathrooms, lifeguards, and refreshments, for daytrippers with small children.life ring flotation device beach safety

The Pier

The pier in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Anglin’s Fishing Pier, is open 24 hours so no matter your work or vacation schedule is you can get your fishing fix. It costs $7 per adult fisher. Common catches include snook, snapper, mackerel, bluefish, and more. With the reef being just south of the pier, in the deepwater part of the pier you are able to catch a variety of fish.

If you are not a fisherman or fisherwoman, the LBTS pier offers great views of the Lighthouse Point lighthouse, Fort Lauderdale beach, and plenty of wildlife. It is a $2 fee for sightseers. Bring a camera!


Tip: We recommend this local secret for down-to-earth beach destination weddings, couples, and older family get-togethers.


The Diving and Snorkeling

There are two main spots to dive in “The Shore Diving Capital of the World.” Shore diving means that the reefs are a short swim from the shore, and boats are not needed to access them.

The BioRock Reef

Lauderdale-By-The-Sea features the first of its kind fisheries restoration project that utilizes a technology called BioRock. In a nutshell, the BioRock technology speeds up the growth of a coral reef by mimicking reefs natural growth in order to replenish dying reefs and marine life populations. Steel structures are installed and charged by solar energy that attracts and propels the growth of limestone over them.

The BioRock Reef is excellent for all levels of snorkelers and divers, and this pilot project provides a great opportunity to see a variety of fish and marine life. Being a strong swimmer is highly recommended, as the maximum depth is around 12 feet. Often times people will dive/snorkel off of a kayak or paddle board.

This reef attracts a lot of fish and marine life, and offshore in any part of LBTS you will at the very least see a few different species of fish if the visibility is good.

The two circular yellow buoys in the distance catch the solar energy to charge the BioRock Reef.
The two circular yellow buoys in the distance catch the solar energy to charge the BioRock Reef.

The SS Copenhagen Shipwreck

In 1900, the steam-ship schooner SS Copenhagen hit a reef and became stranded carrying almost 5000 tons of coal. The crew attempted to salvage the cargo, but the ship ended up being left behind. The ship remained visible above water until World War II, when it was used for target practice, ultimately causing it to sink. Most of the machinery was salvaged, but the features of the ship are still visible. The bow now sits separate from the ship after an excavation attempt gone awry.

What is left of the shipwreck is now an artificial reef, located 3/4 of a mile offshore of LBTS at latitude 26° 12.349’ N and longitude 80° 05.108’ W.  The water depths fluctuate from 16-31 feet.

Take an underwater tour of the shipwreck.

The SS Copenhagen is a protected state underwater archeological preserve.

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Recycling

Throughout Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, we found a variety of  recycling receptacles! Unfortunately, they were not always in use. LBTS sometimes has a lot of leftover trash from weekend revelers. If you don’t pick it up, no one else is going to, except maybe a hungry bird.

Pier goers also have to make an effort to secure their trash, especially plastic bags, that can easily be blown away and into the ocean by the breeze.

We appreciate LBTS taking the steps to attempt to promote recycling, but it takes the beach goers to make this plan came to fruition.

If you had the pleasure of enjoying the beach, let the next person have the pleasure of enjoying the beach without your trash.

Find out more about Lauderdale-By-The-Sea’s recycling program.


All in all, this small town packs a big beachy punch. Fantastic for fishing, snorkeling, diving, dining, and drinking, it is easy to take it easy in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea.

Welcome to the Beach Review!

Welcome to The Beach Review! It seemed appropriate to launch The Beach Review on the first day of summer, June 21st, 2014, when the days are at their longest and the sun is at its brightest.

Each week, TBR will highlight different beaches beginning in South Florida- the famous and the lesser known- as well as provide information on beach safety, wildlife, and responsible tourism. The Review will feature photography of local sunrises, sunsets, and more beach scenery for you to enjoy. We will also focus on pollution, endangered species, and ways to protect the fragile ecosystems of the region.

If you have never been to South Florida, you may not realize how many different beach options and experiences are available. Each beach has its own vibe and offers something different. From Tequesta to Key West, there is something for everyone.

Whether you are a local planning a daytrip or a first time beach goer flying into Florida, it may be overwhelming to pick which beach you want to go to. What does each beach offer? How crowded are the beaches? Which ones are clean? Where’s a good place to find sea shells? Where’s a good place for sand sculpting? Where can I park? What are the hours? What can I bring?

All of these questions and more will be answered here at The Beach Review.

Explore the beaches of South Florida and beyond with The Beach Review, where we bring the beach to you. You never know where we are, or where we will be, so enjoy the journey!

Follow us on social media for a real time look at what we are up to!

 

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Our First Beach Cleanup- The Analysis

The Beach Review celebrated the official first day of summer with our first beach cleanup at South Inlet Park in Boca Raton, Florida!

We met on the morning of June 21st, 2014 with one mission in mind… fill up the bio-degradable trash bags and clean up the beach!

What we found was disturbing.

When you hear about beach cleanups from other people, you think you know what to expect; you think you will know what you will find. But as with most things in life, hearing about something versus actually doing it  are two completely different things, and a beach cleanup is no exception.

The best analogy that comes to mind of what a beach cleanup is like is the same experience that you have when snorkeling underwater. At first, nothing is there, but with a single blink of the eye, the creatures of the ocean reveal themselves to you- fish swim beneath you, swim next to you, swim all around you. With a beach cleanup, at first you look out at the glistening morning sand, the persistent, yet quiet break of the waves, and that is all you see. When you put your gloves on and hold that trash bag in your hand, suddenly things begin appearing, and before you know it, you are overwhelmed by the shear amount of garbage that is strewn carelessly about this paradise.

The Issues

There are two glaring issues of this beach that seem to contribute to the amount of trash on the beach, besides the typical lackadaisical beach goer.

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A mixture of fishing line, small plastics, and other litter.

Issue 1: Fishermen

Fishermen flock to this location because of the ease of access to inlet fishing, which is basically a superhighway of marine life from the ocean into or out of the intracoastal waterway.

The main problem with fishermen is fishing line. Fishing line takes 600 years to decompose, and is often mistaken as food by birds, manatees, and sea turtles. Ingestion of fishing line is often fatal.

We found copious amounts of fishing line tangled in the jetty, left on the shoreline, and buried in the sand.

Why? Yes, someone is just carelessly leaving it behind, but this beach does not have a fishing line disposal receptacle! A popular fishing spot with no fishing line receptacle? Ridiculous!

The Beach Review has contacted the Monofilament Recovery and Recycling Program (MRRP) that is run through the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in hopes of trying to get a proper receptacle there to hopefully curtail the frivolous disposal of fishing line.  We will keep you updated on our progress.

The only fishing line disposal location in Boca Raton that we found on the MRRP website is at 7 Seas Bait and Tackle at 1308 NW 2nd Avenue, Boca Raton, 33432. Please take your monofilament fishing line there so it can be recycled.

Issue 2: The Dredge

mangled aluminum can litter beach cleanup
An unrecognizable, mangled aluminum can, with very sharp edges.

The city owned dredge is in place to transfer sand at the bottom of the inlet so that large boats can still traverse safely through the inlet. According to the dredge’s website, “The material dredged from the inlet is placed above the mean high water line of the beaches 500 feet south of the southern jetty of the inlet.”

This location is a main part of the South Inlet Park Beach. When the dredge is off, many people walk directly across where the dredge spews its “materials” in minimal shoes or bare feet because it’s the beach! It’s sand! Not so fast…

The “material dredged” is not just sand, but also any piece of trash that has been deposited into the ocean and found a temporary resting place at the bottom of the inlet.

We found an unbelievable amount of trash that was thrown out of the dredge. How do we know it was from the dredge? Because of the location of the debris. When the dredge spews the sand etc. from the bottom of the inlet and then is turned off, it leaves a distinct pattern of wet sand and water runoff over the dry interior sand.

It also appeared that the machine was shredding certain items, specifically aluminum cans. A whole aluminum can usually won’t cut someone’s foot, but shredded aluminum most definitely will. Most of what we saw were iceberg cans, meaning that you would pull a piece that was slightly protruding out of the sand’s surface, and instead of pulling a small piece, you would actually pull out a much larger piece that was hidden by the sand.

Do not go near the dredge when it is on. It is an extremely dangerous machine and we saw first hand that it is not just sand and water coming out of it!

What the dredge brings to the surface (literally) are past violations against nature. The area where the dredge is depositing materials  should be given extra care by those who are responsible for the maintenance of this beach (it is run by Palm Beach County), or for any other group that wants to do a beach cleanup in this location. As dangerous as the trash on the beach is, it is a second chance to remove it from the environmental equation all together.

Everyone should pay extra attention to the trash around them, because all it takes is a split second to step on the wrong thing, and your beach trip is ruined.

Other Items Found

  • The “find of the day” went to the abandoned baby doll.
  • Small plastics, specifically straws, tops to children’s drinks, plastic silverware, etc.  Small plastics are eaten by sea birds and turtles, and can cause them great harm by blocking their digestive tract.
  • Fragments of rubber and tires
  • A whole shoe sole
  • A variety of fabrics, from terry cloth to mesh
  • Bottle caps
  • Abandoned children’s sand toys
  • Guitar string
  • Broken glass
  • Plastic bags
  • Closed zip-tie
  • Shotgun shell (?!?)
  • Cables and electrical wires
  • Styrofoam cooler chunks
  • Food packaging

On your next trip to the beach, be cognizant of what you are bringing with you and what you are leaving behind. Remember, you are a visitor in the full-time home of other beings.