Walton County's revised beach activities ordinance will come before the commission for approval at its Jan. 8 meeting. Interim County Administrator Gerry Demers says the most significant change is the ability for visitors to purchase a permit to let their dogs on the beach. The Sun posted about this to Facebook, and there was plenty of conversation.
Michele Stadnik: We spend 4 months on 30A (January till the 2nd week of May) and I promise you I always pick up after my pet! I've never left anything on the beach — from me or my dog. But I have found and picked up the following left by humans: Dirty diapers (numerous times!), beer and soda cans, broken beer and pop bottles, empty food containers and water bottles, childrens' toys of all types, used condoms (Ick!), discarded clothing/shoes/towels, and spent fireworks, among other refuse. And this doesn't begin to note the hundreds and hundreds of cigarette butts that litter the sand and surf's edge! I have (politely) requested that children and adults stay off other beach property owners' dunes to protect them. I walk the beach almost every day and the amount of human refuse and garbage that is left is appalling! On the very rare occasions when I have seen animal waste (from others' pets), I always pick that up too! In my opinion, the humans leave far more waste than do the pets!
Chase Johnson: I think they need to show proof of current vaccinations when purchasing a pass.
Candi Jerkins: Gross! No way! We allow our children to play on the beaches and do not want them digging sand with dog pee in it. Take them to the area dog parks. I have seen SO many people who walk their dog blindly on the beach and do NOT pick up the pooh or cover the pee!
Mary Elsberry: Yes. Is my opinion! I live here and find that most owners do pick up and cover urine. My thoughts are this is one of the most unfriendly pet areas I have ever lived in for past 10 years, and yet they try to promote the area as pet friendly.
Jim Harris: Would rather have dogs than nasty smokers and their filthy cigarette butts.
Tammy Douglass Smith:I love dogs, but children do not need to play and dig in sand where dogs use the bathroom. The germs remain even if their waste is covered or removed by the owner. Perhaps there could be designated areas where visitors are allowed to take their dogs. Then people can choose which beach to visit.
Wayne Beard:No dice! Have you seen water quality reports throughout the season? Let’s not add more dog feces right at the edge! People are not responsible enough, especially visitors.
Cindy Travers: They don't enforce the dog ordinance anyway, so why should anyone buy a permit? I saw a Walton deputy drive right by a tourist with off leash dog at noon yesterday without a word! And the tourists use our dunes as dog toilet and don't pick it up. It's nasty. Walton cares nothing for locals. It's all about tourism and our gorgeous beaches will turn continue to be trashed. It's very sad!
Steve Shooter: As a resident, this is a terrible idea. In general, people down here on vacation are taking a vacation from their normal manners. They know that they are only here for a week or so and there is no incentive to pick up after themselves; you see it in the various trash on the beach. So are we to believe that they are going to pick up their dog's droppings? I think not.
Caroling Wholeo Geary: Also think of the wildlife. The pet is fed at home and plays with the herons and crabs who don't find it amusing. Wildlife is working to survive.
Isobel Winters: I think it is a great idea — if they actually enforce it. Our beaches would be even nicer if we gave out tickets instead of warnings!