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  PBA uses this blog to post individual articles from our monthly newsletters. Members can comment on these articles.
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  • 05/09/2022 3:30 PM | Anonymous

    What: Hands Across the Sand returns to Pensacola Beach

    Where: Gulfside Pavilion, 20 Casino Beach Boardwalk, Pensacola Beach, FL

    When: Saturday May 21, 5 pm – 6:30 pm

    PENSACOLA—Join hands with fellow residents, business owners, and tourists as we take our annual stand against oil and gas drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and a transition to clean energy. Hands Across the Sand takes place on beaches around the world, as communities come together to send a powerful message of protecting the beaches and coastal areas we love. 

    We’ll meet at the Gulfside Pavilion for live music, education, and inspiring speeches about protecting our white sands and blue-green waters. At 6 pmwe’ll walk to the water’s edge to hold hands in silent remembrance of the 2010 oil spill and in support of a transition to clean energy from the sun and wind. 

    Hands Across the Sand comes at a time when the longstanding Congressional moratorium on drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico near Florida is about to expire, leaving our state vulnerable. Yet the transition to the nearly infinite power of clean renewable energy is well underway, with explosive growth in solar and wind energy as Americans embrace the future.  

    Event partners include Healthy Gulf, 350 Pensacola and Surfrider Foundation Emerald Coast. For more information visit Hands Across the Sand Pensacola Beach on Facebook or call 850-687-9968 or email christian@healthygulf.org

  • 03/07/2022 5:30 PM | Anonymous
    News Release Date: March 1, 2022

    Contact: Stephenie Wade, 850-932-2612

    GULF BREEZE, Fla. -- Gulf Islands National Seashore will host a virtual public meeting on March 8, 2022, from 4 to 6 p.m. to solicit feedback on various sustainable road options being evaluated for portions of J. Earle Bowden Way (Highway 399/Route 11) and Fort Pickens Road (Route 12), on Santa Rosa Island, Escambia County, Florida. 

    In 2004, Hurricane Ivan severely damaged the roadways within the park and subsequent hurricanes and tropical storms have further eroded park shorelines. These natural barrier island processes have led to problems with minor storms and routine weather events pushing Gulf waters and sand onto roadway surfaces resulting in road damage, road closures and unsafe roadway operating conditions.

    The National Park Service (NPS) is working to identify and evaluate potential sustainability options for these two roadways within Gulf Islands National Seashore. The NPS has not initiated formal planning, identified a preferred direction, or pursued funding to implement any design options at this time; however, the NPS is interested in the public’s insight and ideas on the project purpose and a range of potential options.  

    For more information and to provide comments on this project, please use the following link: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/GUIS_Road_Feasibility_Study

    As a result of COVID restrictions, the seashore will hold a virtual public meeting to solicit feedback. 
    Those interested in participating can join using the following information.

    Web: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86573697314  

    Phone:  +1-312-626-6799 with Webinar ID 86573697314#; +1-929-436-2866 with Webinar ID 86573697314# 

    READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

  • 01/26/2022 8:38 AM | Anonymous

    With the 2022 session of the Florida Legislature underway, I want to share with you some water and Gulf-related bills that might be of interest to Pensacola Beach residents:

    First of all, let me remind us all that nutrient pollution that causes outbreaks of toxic algae is one of the biggest water issues Florida has faced in recent years. Pollution from nitrogen and phosphorus caused a slime of blue green algae that clogged lakes and rivers, as well as the destruction of seagrass that contributed to the worst year for manatees ever as hundreds starved to death in 2021. Off the Gulf coast multiple red tides have come ashore, believed to have been made worse by nutrient pollution.

    The Governor’s Blue Green Algae Task Force made recommendations for solutions nearly three years ago, but none have been implemented. Now Senate Bill (SB) 832/ House Bill (HB) 561)has been introduced to carry-out some of the recommendations, such as requiring septic tank inspections every five-years, require that waterway restoration projects be carefully prioritized and for past projects to be assessed for effectiveness. This is a good step forward that will help reduce pollution in our waterways, with nutrient pollution also a problem in multiple waterways in the Pensacola-area.

    Unfortunately, a bad bill has been introduced that would accelerate the loss of our vital seagrasses like the turtlegrass in Santa Rosa Sound. It’sSenate Bill (SB) 198/House Bill (HB) 349),which authorizes the creation of seagrass mitigation banks to offset impacts from development projects that destroy seagrasses. This would actually make it easier to destroy seagrass by promising to restore seagrass elsewhere, even though seagrass restoration through plantings has mostly been a failure. With our local Pensacola Bay system already having lost around 90% of its historic seagrasses, we can’t afford to lose anymore and are working to make sure this bill does not advance.

    Finally, I wanted to point-out a bill that actually addresses the root cause of climate change and sea level rise that is having so many impacts on Florida. Senate Bill (SB) 366  and House Bill (HB) 81 would require that all electricity in the state be derived from renewable sources by 2040, and would create an advisory committee to reach these goals. Right now Florida is one of only about a dozen states that does not have such a requirement in place.

    It’s the continued use of fossil fuels like oil and natural gas that cause the carbon emissions that are warming our planet. Our local rate of sea level rise has accelerated dramatically in the past 25 years because of this, putting shorelines along Santa Rosa Island and elsewhere in more rapid retreat. While the transition to renewable energy is already underway, large monopoly utilities and fossil fuel companies have worked to slow that transition in order to maintain investor profits. These bills would be a great step forward in prioritizing Florida’s residents and businesses who support renewable energy and the waterfront communities threatened by rising seas.  

    These are a few of the bills we are following that affect us in NW Florida, and we encourage residents to call, email or otherwise speak with their state elected officials on these and other environmental issues of importance. Thank you and happy 2022 to all.

    For a healthy Gulf,

    --Christian Wagley

    Christian works for Healthy Gulf, a nonprofit organization devoted to the Gulf of Mexico and the waterways and communities along its shore


  • 01/19/2022 4:01 PM | Anonymous

    Newsletter: January 18, 2022

    Legislative Update

    Last week, Senate Regulated Industries advanced SB 512 with little discussion and an unanimous vote. The bill nows heads to the Community Affairs Committee in the Senate. After that committee, the bill will have one more committee stop in the Rules Committee before it proceeds to the Senate floor.

    Meanwhile, HB 325 has not yet been heard in the Florida House. However, its first committee, the House Regulatory Reform Subcommitteemeets this Thursday at 1:00 PM. As always, we will alert you as soon as either bill is scheduled for a hearing.

    Thanks for your continued support.


    In Case You Missed It  

    Fake vacation rental scams found on Marco Island, ABC 7

    In the past week, officers have received two reports of people showing up on Marco island after booking vacation rentals online, only to find out that the property was occupied by an actual renter or an owner of the property. Upon investigation, police found two other fraudulent ads for Marco Island rental properties on Craigslist.

    St. Augustine residents angry over speeding and short-term rentals, First Coast News

    St. Augustine residents have voiced their concerns over a busy road, Riberia Street, where 19 short-term rentals exist across the one-mile span. Unruly renters already threaten the neighborhood peace, but speeding and a lack of sidewalk space have added to the residents' concerns. Some residents say that speeding and an abundance of short-term rentals are correlated. 

    Fort Myers re-affirms decision to increase short-term rental registration fees, Fort Myers Beach Talk 

    The Town of Fort Myers Beach Council reaffirmed its decision to enact higher short-term rental fees and to increase the town's municipal parking lot meters on Monday. While the extra revenue has not been designated to a certain sector yet, some council members argue that the profits should go towards affordable housing in the region, among other things. The new short-term rental registration and renewal fee is set at $300. 

    Conflict over short-term rentals ensues at Coral Springs City Hall, Coral Springs Talk

    Multiple residents spoke out against the city’s current vacation rentals regulations during the Coral Springs City Commission meeting last week. Residents argue that the city is not doing enough to regulate short-term rental homes as more unruly renters threaten the city's peace. Vice Mayor Joshua Simmons said the city commission has worked tirelessly for three years to call and lobby state politicians to gain more control over vacation rentals.

    City of Sarasota vacation rental program open, Sarasota Magazine

    The City of Sarasota adopted an ordinance last May requiring vacation rental registration in the residential neighborhoods within the Coastal Island Overlay District. Registration began Jan. 3, 2022, and a certificate of registration must be obtained by June 1. The ordinance establishes an occupancy limit and requires 24-hour contact information for the rental, among other requirements, such as a written reminder about sound and parking.

    Vacation rental debate teed up for new session, CBS Miami

    On Tuesday, the Senate Regulated Industries Committee is scheduled to take up a bill (SB 512), filed by Sen. Danny Burgess, R-Zephyrhills, that is the latest version in a long-running battle between cities and counties as to who should have to regulate vacation rentals. Rep. Jason Fischer, R-Jacksonville, has filed an identical bill in the House. The bills would allow local governments to require the registration of vacation rental properties.

    Key West considers doubling transient licensing fees, Keys Weekly

    Key West Commissioners are moving to approve a new law that makes sidewalk cafes official and sets the fees for restaurants wishing to place tables and chairs on city sidewalks in front of their establishments. The Commission also considered its first-ever cost increase to the city’s transient rental medallion program that requires short-term rental properties to buy an annual medallion that authorizes rentals of fewer than 28 days. The cost has remained unchanged since 2006. 


  • 01/08/2022 2:24 PM | Anonymous

    Click the link below to view the 2022 meeting information for the Santa Rosa Island Authority (SRIA).

    https://sria-fla.com/home-8/a-meeting-information-3/

  • 11/20/2021 1:33 PM | Anonymous

    Sign in for our clean ups 8:45 am then we clean up the waterways and watershed from 9-10 am. Rain cancels our events. You can also check our events on our Facebook page and website for updates!

    November 20th - 2 sites

    1)  Graffiti Bridge - N 17th Ave, Pensacola 32502

    2)  Bartram Park, 211 Bayfront Parkway, Pensacola 32562

    November 27th - 2 sites

    1) Bruce Beach - 601 Main Street, Pensacola FL 32502

    2) Park West - Pensacola Beach

    December 4th - 2 sites

    1) Bob Sikes Bridge, South end, please park by the Grand Marlin.

    2) Naval Live Oaks, 1800 Gulf Breeze Parkway, 32561. We will be meeting by the visitor information center, please let the site captain know if you are willing to drive to another area of the park.

    December 11 - 2 sites

    1) Bay Bluffs Park, 3400 Scenic Highway, Pensacola FL. At the stoplight @ Summit and Scenic Hwy.

    2) Chimney Park, Langley and Scenic Highway, Pensacola FL

    All portions of Scenic need to be cleaned.

    If you would like to pick another spot please do and bring your trash to one of our sites to be disposed of.

    December 18th - 2 sites last cleanups of 2021!

    1)  Graffiti Bridge - N 17th Ave, Pensacola 32502

    2) Bayfront Parkway Cleanup, meet at Veterans Memorial Park, 200 S 10th Avenue Pensacola Fl 32503

    You awesome volunteers have cleaned up 34,594 pounds of trash from our beaches, waterways and watershed so far this year. THANK YOU!

    We hope to see you at a cleanup! We will have our regular supplies on hand gloves, grabbers, buckets and bags. Bring sunscreen and bug spray if needed, and plenty of water. Closed toe shoes recommended. Kayaks for water cleanups are always welcome! Please wear your Ocean Hour shirt!

    Sharon

    850.450.1112 please leave a message


    Ocean Hour

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  • 10/31/2021 11:17 AM | Anonymous

    Join us for the Holiday Lights Contest Awards & Caroling Party on Saturday, December 11th at 3:00 PM on the Pensacola Beach Boardwalk! 

    Everyone is invited!! Visit with Santa! Free candy canes for kids!


  • 10/26/2021 5:43 PM | Anonymous

    Get Your Hands Dirty! Join us to ID and remove invasive plants.

    When & Where: Saturday, October 30, 2021 (8am-noon)

    Gulf Island National Seashore Naval Live Oaks Nature Preserve and Pensacola Beach

    You Will Need To Bring:

    • Long pants
    • Loppers
    • Closed-toed shoes
    • Clippers
    • Hat
    • Small Shovels
    • Sun Protection
    • Water Bottle
    • Gloves

    Information & Registration:

    Volunteers will locate beach vitex that has been pre-tagged and remove following instructions provided at at sign-in.

    Pre-registration Contact: Email Rick O'Connor at  roc1@ufl.edu

    CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE FLYER


  • 09/08/2021 8:12 PM | Anonymous

    September 1, 2021

    Dear PBA Members,

    Finally the sun is shining,  but those cloudy skies and pouring down rain did not stop the curious onlookers during Ida.   The crossover near me has been packed.    We are  truly blessed to have been spared Ida.  This just reinforces how important it is to have an evacuation plan and to be prepared.  Please pray for all of those who are affected by the storm.   Speaking of being prepared,  please Save the Date for our Annual meeting…October 20th  - 6 pm…The Beach Church.    Pizza and adult refreshments like last year and all of that “fun” meeting stuff.  More details to come on that. Please also save Sunday - December 12th for our Holiday Party and  Lights Judging Contest.  Now for some beach updates

    First, an update on the  meeting your PBA board had with Ms. Leigh Davis and SRIA legal counsel, Ms. Mary Jane Bass a couple of weeks ago.  Our intention was to follow up on data submitted on our ideas to combat short term rental issues and protocol for 5g placement on the island.   A gracious Ms. Davis allowed us to discuss “everything but the kitchen sink.”  We were  able to discuss  lease language, and how  it governs and legally applies to short term rentals, a proposed draft ordinance by Commissioner Bender to regulate short term rentals and manage them as businesses along with the fees, fines and enforcement provisions, and how to beef up enforcement at the SRIA for STR violations.  Bill Wray, who has done extensive research on the topic, is hopeful  that the ordinance will be able to pass at the county level.   It, along with Ms.  Davis‘s leadership at the SRIA  should solve many issues.  We  should all be prepared to testify when it is introduced and debated.   Check out our website to see a draft of the ordinance. 

    I believe Ms. Davis has quickly learned what is important to the beach.  I also know she understands that we don’t necessarily believe our lease fees or tax dollars get spent to the best of their ability and that EVERYONE in the county  is responsible for paying for beach renourishment.   We also discussed how EVERYONE who comes to the beach could:  pay a little something more to either cross the bridge, pay to park,  and follow the rules if we could enforce them. 

    When it came to discussing 5g we all agreed that the SRIA board should have been more involved in the initial rollout.  If not, then why do we have an environmental impact review committee? We pointed out that cities and counties all  across Florida are requiring more information before they approve  the placement of these poles.  The municipalities are also winning on every front.  Just like The SRIA used case law to settle the consideration vs. impact fee, they could also use case law to appeal to the FCC to move some of these  poorly placed 5g poles.  Heck, they could appeal to the FCC and ask to remove all of  them because of their environmental impact on a barrier island.  One of the biggest victories for those fighting 5g has been that the FCC just agreed that the emission standards from 1996 are inadequate to deal with 5g emission levels.   They stated that new levels of what is safe need to be defined.  (See ruling on our website). This is just one of the many discussions and debates shaping the conversation about 5g.    ALL of the discussion is favorable for local municipalities, but the question is does SRIA have the will to stand up and fight for the residents?  Clearly they could if they wanted to.

    Upon  discussion of what SRIA can and cannot do, according to a matrix written sometime ago and based on the powers  given them in state statute,  it became obvious that although SRIA has the ability to do things they may not because of the friction it may cause at the county level.  It also became clear that while some actions by leaseholders may  be illegal they do not want to enter into lawsuits because it is costly and timely.  This tone was implied  during  discussions on both STR and with 5g.  While I understand agencies not wanting to be litigious or at odds with the commission,  at what point are they supposed to place the interest of the residents first?  This has been a very frustrating area for me personally because the answer to the question is ALWAYS.

    At the end of the day we felt  the meeting was productive.  We discussed the many public works projects involving crossovers and how the mobi mats are not aiding in the growth of the dunes like the crossovers do.  We discussed the crosswalks, the boat ramp by the access road, the cut throughs,  and the dog parks and lack of enforcement thereof.    In many ways our county is broken and we as residents need to say enough is enough!   We cannot continue to let the county impose more and more on us without getting angry and speaking our minds.   It has been a tough two years on everyone. The businesses cannot find employees,  our liberties have  been checked,  and more and more often government ignores the will of its people.  

    We must take the time, yes,  make the time, to participate in local government. Our future and quality of life depend upon it.    I hope you will join us in October at our annual meeting  and in the meantime, challenge both the county and the SRIA to do what they are supposed to do

    Sincerely,

    Rhonda Dorfman

    PBA President

  • 09/02/2021 4:54 PM | Anonymous

    We are keeping our sign In for our clean ups at 7:45 am then we clean up the waterways and watershed from 8-9 am until the weather cools. Rain cancels our events. You can also check our events on our Facebook page and website for updates!

    September 4 (2 sites)

    1) Bob Sikes Bridge, South end, please park by the Grand Marlin.

    2) Naval Live Oaks, 1800 Gulf Breeze Parkway, 32561. We will be meeting by the visitor information center, please let the site captain know if you are willing to drive to another area of the park.

    September 11 (2 sites)

    1) Bay Bluffs Park, 3400 Scenic Highway, Pensacola FL. At the stoplight @ Summit and Scenic Hwy.

    2) Chimney Park, Langley and Scenic Highway, Pensacola FL

    All portions of Scenic need to be cleaned.

    If you would like to pick another spot please do and bring your trash to one of our sites to be disposed of.

    September 18 (3 sites) - INTERNATIONAL COASTAL CLEANUP

    1)  Graffiti Bridge - N 17th Ave, Pensacola 32502

    2)  Quietwater Beach -  400 Quietwater Beach Road, PNS Beach 32561, meet by the Seashell

    3) Park West right before the entrance to Fort Pickens, Pensacola Beach 32561. Please meet in the north parking lot. 

    September 25 (1 site) - Special pier and beach cleanup with NPS, 3rd Coast Divers, Perdido Key Rotary.

    More details to come.

    We hope to see you at a cleanup! If you have your own gloves, bucket or grabber, we encourage you to bring your own due to the pandemic. We will have our regular supplies on hand if you don't have these items (Gloves, grabbers, buckets, bags). Bring sunscreen and bug spray if needed, and lots of water. Closed toe shoes recommended. Kayaks for water cleanups are always welcome! Please wear your Ocean Hour shirt!



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