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Texas has long prided itself on its Open Beaches Act, which guarantees public access to beaches along most of the states 367-mile Gulf Coast.

But public beach advocates say a recent Texas Supreme Court decision which is supported by the front-runner in the race to be the state’s next land commissioner and a growing property rights movement could endanger that guarantee. They fear that as beaches face impacts from coastal erosion, rising sea levels and the threat of powerful storms, private property rights could take precedence over access to public beach access.

We have two rock-solid principles: public access to public beaches, and the right of private owners to exclude others from the property which is theirs, said David Abraham, a law professor at the University of Miami. Theyre always in tension, but if we face issues like sea-level rise and increasingly severe storms, theres going to be less stability in that balance.

For decades, the Open Beaches Act which was voted into the Texas Constitution in 2009 was a signal to coastline property owners that if erosion or a storm wiped out the public beach behind them, their homes could become state property. In the past several years, the General Land Office, the state agency that deals with coastal issues, has taken 18 properties for such reasons, reimbursing owners $50,000 each.

After Hurricane Rita hit Texas in 2005, Carol Severance sued the state after it said her Galveston property was now in the public domain. In 2010, the Texas Supreme Court ruled in her favor, saying the property remained private because the beach had been wiped out through an avulsive event, like a big storm rather than imperceptible coastal erosion.

Public beach advocates say the decision went too far. Rob Nixon, chairman of the Surfrider Foundations South Texas chapter, said it sets up unrestricted development of the coast, which is going to ultimately put the Texas taxpayer and public on the dime for bailing all these people out.

But many private property rights advocates hailed the ruling. Among the supporters is George P. Bush, a Republican widely expected to win the November election to head the General Land Office.

I dont believe that the state should take land in the event of storms, Bush said recently during an event hosted by The Texas Tribune. He added that landowners whose property has been taken were not compensated enough, and that there are many other places along the coast that the public can access without threatening private property interests.

The current land commissioner, Jerry Patterson, who was named in the Severance lawsuit, has excoriated the Severance ruling as weakening public access in a Californication of Texas beaches. As a result of the decision, the General Land Office canceled a $40 million beach nourishment project in Galveston for fear of illegally spending public money on private land.

Patterson said he feared more similar projects would have to be abandoned.

Read more:
Debating What's More Sacred: Private Land or Public Beaches

Sep 262014

The Oak Bluffs citizens beach committee was formed this year to address the problems of our beaches, some of which were highlighted in a recent letter to the editor by Barbara Peckham.

Oak Bluffs is fortunate to have beautiful beaches for our residents and for the visitors, many of whom come here primarily for the beaches. The beaches are an important human resource as well as a necessary economic resource for Oak Bluffs, as evidenced by the recent Oak Bluffs business district survey.

The conservation commission, which is charged by law with protecting water resources, has exercised sole jurisdiction over the beaches and has been acting unilaterally; we believe that the parks commission should be advocating for the human and socioeconomic values of the beaches.

Last winter material that was dredged from under the new bridge to Vineyard Haven was placed on Town Beach (also known as Pay Beach and the Inkwell). The quality of that material was disgusting: it packed as hard as pavement; it was almost black and had a foul smell; it contained foreign objects (rusted metal and welding rods); and it had small quantities of toxic chemicals. It had no business being placed on a family beach.

Following a display of public outrage, the selectmen decided that the dredged material would be removed from the beach, and the highway department removed most of it. The remainder should be removed.

The main goals of the beach committee follow:

No dredge material should be placed on the beaches if it is of poorer quality than what is already there.

Lesser material, such as that which will come from dredging under the Little Bridge at the beginning of State Beach, can be used if it is cleaned of rocks by a Barber Surf Rake, a piece of equipment which is used by all beach communities on Cape Cod to keep their beaches nice.

Dredge material from a harbor may not be used on the beaches.

Plans for replenishing beaches should be publicized in advance so that there is ample time for public comment.

Follow this link:
Citizen Beach Initiative

Sept. 24, 2014, 10 p.m.

A renewed focus on prevention is to thank for a huge drop in the number of beach swimmers caught in dangerous situations last season, according to Wollongong lifesavers.

Carl Nottage, of Surf Life Saving Illawarra, says the focus has been on advising swimmers of safe practice. Picture: GREG TOTMAN

A renewed focus on prevention is to thank for a huge drop in the number of beach swimmers caught in dangerous situations last season, according to Wollongong lifesavers.

Despite a big jump in beach attendance in the 2013-14 season from the two previous years, lifesavers on Wollongong beaches were forced to handle just 243 rescues compared with 433 in 2011-12 and 380 last year.

Lifesavers conducted 7517 preventative actions at the 17 surf club-patrolled beaches last year, compared with 6376 in 2012-13.

“Prevention is better than cure, and the focus is prevention. We have been very strong on this recently, and the proof is in the pudding,” Surf Life Saving Illawarra executive officer Carl Nottage said.

“Our members are getting better at what they do. It’s good to know if they remain vigilant we can keep people safe and have to do less rescues.”

Mr Nottage said preventative actions included advising swimmers to stay between the flags, advising beach users of rips or other dangerous conditions, and bringing drifting swimmers back within the lifesavers’ lines of sight.

“We put the flags in the safest part of the beach. Rather than trust your own judgment, it’s best to follow the lifesavers who know the beach,” Mr Nottage said.

See original here:
Prevention keeping Illawarra beaches safe

As he shut down the Los Angeles Register a daily newspaper he launched just five months ago Aaron Kushner found himself once again redefining “failure.”

The co-owner and chief executive of Freedom Communications, the parent company of the Orange County Register, explained the latest retreat from a bold regional expansion in a statement to employees, also signed by co-owner Eric Spitz.

“Pundits and local competitors who have closely followed our entry into Los Angeles will be quick to criticize our decision to launch a new newspaper, and they will say that we failed,” the owners wrote. “We believe the true definition of failure is not taking bold steps toward growth.”

Kushner and Spitz used almost the same language in June, when they announced that Freedom would roll the recently launched Long Beach Register into the Los Angeles Register then brand new and impose companywide furloughs.

The closure of the Los Angeles paper Tuesdays was the final edition also came with layoffs.

On Tuesday, Freedom eliminated 29 newsroom positions across the company, the Orange County Register reported. Editors and reporters from both the O.C. and L.A. Registers were among those who lost their jobs.

The cuts leave the O.C. Register’s editorial staffing at 220, higher than in 2011 before Kushner bought Freedom, the paper said.

The developments are the latest indication of financial stress at Freedom. But the move to launch a competing newspaper in Los Angeles would have been difficult for even the healthiest of media companies, media consultant Alan Mutter said.

Newspaper companies have for decades found it extremely difficult to move into new markets, said Rick Edmonds, a media business analyst with the Poynter Institute. Today, with print advertising revenue steadily falling nationwide, that peril is only magnified, he said.

“The basic strategy was pretty badly flawed from the get-go,” Edmonds said of Freedom’s expansion into L.A.

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Freedom retreats from newspaper expansion by closing L.A. Register

POMPANO BEACH, Fla. — via PRWEB – Pompano Beach based Internet marketing company Creative Writing and SEO has announced their new 6 month SEO plans effective October 1, 2014.

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SEO Company Announces New 6 Month SEO Plans

Frishman Beach, Tel Aviv, Israel – one of the beaches in the city center with a lot of young people
Zahi Shaked A tour guide in Israel and his camera 9726905522 tel 0546905522 My name is Zahi…

By: Zahi Shaked. Israeli tour guide

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Frishman Beach, Tel Aviv, Israel – one of the beaches in the city center with a lot of young people – Video

Get Ready With Me: California Beaches | Gift Princess
Whatever is the season, it is important to protect skin from the harmful sun rays – especially if you have dry skin like me if you stay in the beach for the whole day. Here are my skincare,…

By: Gift Princess Buhman

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Get Ready With Me: California Beaches | Gift Princess – Video

Which camp are you in? The Beach or the Beaches?

Whatever your choice, theres a toque to match.

A line of popular neighbourhood toques from Toronto-based Tuck Shop Trading Co. includes two versions to please residents on both sides of the decades-old name debate.

Youve got to be kidding me, said resident Mary Gore when told of the two toque options.

Clearly exasperated with the ongoing spat thats now spilled over into winter fashion, Gore who has lived in the area for over 30 years said enough is enough.

My humble opinion is people should just get on with it. Who cares what its called.

After an unscientific survey of a few friends and family, Tuck Shop Trading Co. owner and designer Lyndsay Borschke settled on The Beaches for release in her first collection of toques. (The company launched in October 2013 with a set of 14 neighbourhood toques, including the Annex, Queen West, Parkdale and the Danforth.)

Soon after, Borschke began receiving requests for a Beach version. She noted that all the requests were positive and polite, in stereotypical Canadian fashion.

Since then, Borschke has ordered three rounds of Beaches toques (which are listed as sold out as of press time) which total around 450 hats. Shes only ordered one round of Beach toques. Both versions retail for $38.

Id say the people who want the Beach are more vocal, but from a consumer point of view, people are buying more Beaches, Bortschke said.

The rest is here:
Torontos Beaches vs. Beach debate reopened thanks to neighbourhood toques


Beaches up and down the coast and around the world are a lot cleaner this weekend.

It’s all thanks to the hundreds of thousands of volunteers who took part in “Coastal Cleanup Day” on Saturday.

Along Santa Barbara County beaches people collected cigarette butts, pieces of plastic, bottle caps, fishing lines, and more.

They spent hours picking up trash and debris at 39 beaches in the county.

Volunteers also spent time cleaning up creeks, lakes and parks.

“Today is coastal cleanup day. This is where we live this is our home. All one has to do is see that film about the island floating around in the pacific covered with plastic and garbage and think about the birds ingesting it and the fish and all the animals and the fact that there is no need for this,” said Santa Barbara resident Lisa Moreno.

Besides picking up the trash, volunteers counted, sorted and documented what they found.

The information will be sent to the Coastal Conservancy database and will help craft new legislation to protect the ocean and waterways.

“So we’re literally counting the number of pieces of plastic, counting the number of cigarette butts, and counting the number of straws that we find,” said Jackie Hunt, Captain of the East Beach cleanup.

View post:
Volunteers Pitch In To Clean Up Local Beaches

By BREE FULLERSept. 21, 2014, 6:37 p.m.

Massive crowds – of people and pooches – have taken to the beach to rally against controversial changes to Wollongong City Councils dogs on beaches policy.

Residents take their pets for a walk from Sandon Point to McCauleys Beach and back on Sunday. Picture: CHRISTOPHER CHAN

Residents take their pets for a walk from Sandon Point to McCauleys Beach and back on Sunday. Picture: CHRISTOPHER CHAN

Residents take their pets for a walk from Sandon Point to McCauleys Beach and back on Sunday. Picture: CHRISTOPHER CHAN

Residents take their pets for a walk from Sandon Point to McCauleys Beach and back on Sunday. Picture: CHRISTOPHER CHAN

Residents take their pets for a walk from Sandon Point to McCauleys Beach and back on Sunday. Picture: CHRISTOPHER CHAN

Residents take their pets for a walk from Sandon Point to McCauleys Beach and back on Sunday. Picture: CHRISTOPHER CHAN

Residents take their pets for a walk from Sandon Point to McCauleys Beach and back on Sunday. Picture: CHRISTOPHER CHAN

Residents take their pets for a walk from Sandon Point to McCauleys Beach and back on Sunday. Picture: CHRISTOPHER CHAN

Thousands hit the sand in support of dog beaches: photos

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Thousands of People Claming on the Beaches of Xiamen China
During low tide in the summer months thousands of people go out onto the beach and dig clams in Xiamen, China. Subscribe to Vagabond Journey Youtube here: ht…

By: Vagabond Journey

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Thousands of People Claming on the Beaches of Xiamen China – Video

Why should Dr. Beach have all the fun? While his famous best beaches in the U.S. list for 2014 won’t come out until Memorial Day weekend, the folks over at TripAdvisor have corralled their user reviews to come out with their second annual Travelers’ Choice Awards including the Top 25 Beaches, not only in the U.S., but for the world.

The site trumpets the awards with the tagline, “Millions of reviews. Nothing but the best.”

For 2014, Florida’s beaches shone bright again, with 10 of its sandy destinations ranking among the top 25 in the U.S.

Hawaii, which also had 10 of the top 25, has a stranglehold on the top 10 though, with seven beaches represented, while Florida had two and South Carolina had one. Four other states had one beach each in the top 25: California, Maine, Massachusetts and Virginia.

The top beach for Florida was Siesta Key Public Beach in Siesta Key, near Sarasota, coming in at No. 3 overall. Siesta Beach was Dr. Beach’s best beach in the U.S. in 2011.

It has 1,831 reviews on TripAdvisor with glowing statements such as that from user TrishaVanCole from Winnipeg, Canada who writes, “We made a day trip to Siesta Key — and it is definitely worth the trip. The sand is blindingly white (without sunglasses) and powder soft. The beach is clean and the water stays fairly shallow for a ways out. Lots of fun picking shells, playing in the surf and building in the sand and people watching.”

Florida’s other top 10 beach ranked No. 9: St. Pete Beach near Tampa Bay.

It has 754 reviews such as user Nathalie R from Kapuskasing, Canada who writes, “Beach was very clean and beautiful. Environment was very family-friendly and “spring-break free”. We will surely recommend the area to our family and friends and will return for future family vacations. The area truly is America’s best beach.”

The other Florida beaches in the top 25 are: No. 11: Caladesi Island State Park, Dunedin No. 14: St. Augustine Beach, Saint Augustine Beach No. 17: Bahia Honda State Park and Beach, Big Pine Key No. 19: Pensacola Beach, Pensacola No. 20: Beach at Panama City, Panama City Beach No. 21: Clearwater Beach, Clearwater No. 22: Lido Beach, Sarasota No. 25: Navarre Beach, Navarre

So statewide, five of the best beaches are centered on the Gulf Coast near Tampa Bay, while three are along the Gulf Coast in the Panhandle. The East Coast lands one and the Florida Keys land the other.

See the article here:
Florida lands 10 of the top 25 beaches in the U.S.

Regional News of Friday, 19 September 2014

Source: Graphic Online

Sanitation has become a major problem in Ghana in recent times. Many reasons have been assigned for the insanitary conditions that have engulfed virtually every community in the country. Our general reliance on polythene bags for packaging of food and all kinds of merchandise has compounded the problems because materials used for the production of these bags are not bio-degradable.

Despite the campaign launched by the NshoreNa Project this year to clean the beaches the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies appear not to be up to the task although they have laws that spell out sanctions against deviants.

By law, all landlords are required to provide places of convenience in their houses but they do not, resulting in extreme pressure on public facilities. Residents who cannot stand the long queues at these public places of convenience defecate in open places and along the beaches.

The situation has become so grave that a phenomenon has emerged among city dwellers who do not have access to places of convenience to defecate in polythene bags which they sarcastically call take away which they throw about.

Residents along the beaches in Ghana have given various reasons why they defecate along the beaches. While some say they enjoy the breeze, others say they do not have any place to attend to the call of nature.

Another group of residents along the beach particularly in the Central Region have assigned superstitious reasons. Whatever the case may be, environmental practitioners and health professionals have attributed the present cholera epidemic to open defecation particularly along the beaches. This negative practice is also affecting tourism in the country as the stench from the faeces has affected the serenity along the beaches.

The garbage that are thrown into open drains that are washed into the sea and the open defecation have reduced the patronage of recreational activities on the beaches from Half Assini to Aflao. Those who continue to enjoy the fun are not spared the stench from faeces and garbage washed into the sea.

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Anomabo residents defecate along beaches to pacify gods

Sep 192014

South West beach the worst

Plastic is endangering marine and birdlife along South West beaches, according to a report from the CSIRO released this week.

The research into the amount of litter on beaches around Australia pinpointed a South West beach as the worst in the State for the amount of rubbish collected on it.

Researchers from the CSIRO visited 170 sites and did 575 surveys around the country to measure the amount and type of litter.

CSIRO scientist Denise Hardesty said the litter problem typically became worse, when compared to population density, on stretches that had few people living nearby.

Beaches, like Bunburys Back Beach, were often cared for by members of the community who used it regularly, Dr Hardesty said.

The worst beach in the State for litter was Ellensbrook Beach near Margaret River and the best was 80 Mile Beach in Broome.

Dr Hardesty said people liked to think the litter was washing onto shores from other countries, but the reality was most of it originated in Australia.

She said the biggest issue they saw was from plastics and fishing gear.

Soft plastics like bags were often eaten by animals such as turtles, whales and dolphins and the same animals also became entangled in fishing lines and nets.

View original post here:
South West beach the worst

Vacation in Cayman islands 7 Mile Beach
Stingray Reef Snorkeling.

By: Adrian Alonso

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Vacation in Cayman islands 7 Mile Beach – Video

Lefkada Greece Town – Lefkas Island City Best Beaches 2014 HD Tour
Lefkada Greece Town – Lefkas Island City Best Beaches 2014 HD Tour Impressions of a two week stay. We took a boat at Nidri, visited the beach Agiofili, went to a monastery and the west coast…

By: Happy True Life

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Lefkada Greece Town – Lefkas Island City Best Beaches 2014 HD Tour – Video

Sep 172014

Wiped out … Gold Coast beaches could be wiped out due to rising sea levels which will in turn affect tourism. Pic: David Clark Source: News Corp Australia

THE Gold Coast would lose its beaches. Sydneys Opera House would flood every day instead of every 100 years. And 48,000 Victorian homes would be swallowed. All by the end of the century.

Theyre the predictions in the latest report by the Climate Council, which assesses the nations vulnerability to rising sea levels by 2100.

The report Counting the Costs: Climate Change and Coastal Flooding, warns that more than half the Australian coastline is vulnerable to recession from the rising ocean, with 80 per cent of the Victorian coast and 62 per cent of the Queensland coast at risk.

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Watch out … in other parts of the world, coastal areas have at times already been affected by rising sea levels. Picture: Matt Cardy/Getty Images Source: Supplied

Authors of the report suggest the Gold Coast, which hosts over 11 million visitors a year could be the hardest hit.

The beach is one of the main drawcards for visitors and as sea levels rise, there is no opportunity for the beach to move landward because of the adjacent high-rise developments.

Rising sea levels would also cause headaches for Sydney, with todays one-in-100-year flood to occur every day or so by 2100.

Read more from the original source:
Coast beaches wiped out by 2100

By Deborah J. Nelson, Ryan McNeill and Duff Wilson SANTA ROSA BEACH Florida (Reuters) – Mike Huckabee bought a beachfront lot here in 2009, a year after his failed bid for the Republican presidential nomination. They planned to build $3 million vacation villas side-by-side, each with a pool and sweeping views of Walton Countys renowned sugary sand beaches and the azure waters of the Gulf of …

Read more:
Why Americans are flocking to their sinking shores

By BREE FULLERSept. 15, 2014, 8:53 p.m.

A respected Austinmer veterinarian has joined the Wollongong Dog Community group in a fight to save the northern Illawarra’s off-leash dog beaches.

A respected Austinmer veterinarian has joined the Wollongong Dog Community group in a fight to save the northern Illawarra’s off-leash dog beaches.

Former RSPCA NSW director and veterinarian of 43 years Dr Rick Prowse has called for the council to maintain existing off-leash zones, saying further restrictions would unfairly punish responsible dog owners.

“I’m happy to stand up and defend the only area available to people who spontaneously want to get up, go for a walk, throw a ball and do something with the dog,” the Austinmer vet said.

“The beach is an ideal, beautiful environment and we’ve got enough beaches to share for those who like dogs and for those who don’t like dogs.

“There are an irresponsible few who don’t clean up after their dogs or don’t control them when there are people around who may be a little anxious about dogs … but I don’t think you should chastise the thousands of people who are doing the right thing for the few who aren’t.”

Under planned changes to its dogs on beaches and parks policy, the council has recommended dogs only be allowed on Sharkeys, McCauleys and Little Austinmer beaches at restricted times, provided they are on a leash.

Dr Prowse said the dog-owning community needed safe and convenient places to exercise their dogs, away from roads and free from hazards such as bush ticks and snakes. He said a lack of suitable parks or open spaces in the northern Illawarra meant the beach was the only viable option for most people.

If the council took that option away, the health and well-being of dogs and owners would be negatively affected, Dr Prowse said.

Excerpt from:
Off-leash dog beaches: vet joins protest

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