Hutchinson Island's history reveals a textbook example of conflicting public policy and government mismanagement. While the State was building consensus to purchase and preserve Hutchinson Island's vacant land, the local utility installed water and sewer lines along its unbuilt stretches. The outcome? Property owners took advantage of the resulting higher land values just prior to the State's acquisition. While Florida taxpayers got their public beaches, it was at a much higher price.
Local residents and visitors to St. Lucie County remain grateful for the protection of this unique coast. Still the tug-of-war between preservationists and would-be developers continues to play out in the vacant section north of Blind Creek Beach.
Fortunately, two unique geographic facts have inspired environmentalists to call for more public acquisition of land. First the Indian River Lagoon is unrivaled and worth saving. But many people remain unaware that Hutchinson Island is home to the northern tip of the second longest coral reef system in North America. It begins in the the Marquesas near Key West and terminates several hundred miles north at the Fort Pierce Inlet. The turquoise Caribbean-blue waters of Blind Creek Beach are the visual manifestation of this delicate reef system lying off shore.
This enduring paradise can be part of your list of wonders to ponder during your next visit to Blind Creek Beach. We hope this brief environmental story will increase your appreciation of our clothing optional beach. It's indeed a very special place.
Page 3 of 3
Essay by C. A. Flick
A lot of information is conveyed on the aerial photograph and map below. Of particular interest is the St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant (Blind Creek Beach's neighbor to the south). The facility's impact on Hutchinson Island cannot be overestimated. FPL (formerly Florida Power & Light) is the parent company of this utility, which oversees two of three nuclear power plants in Florida. As you can see, FPL remains a major local landowner. The main thing to remember when you visit Blind Creek Beach is to stay off all FPL property, including most of its beach. This begins about 1000 feet south of the Blind Creek Beach trailhead. Remember legitimate security concerns mean no venturing above the mean high water mark.
One can say all sorts of things about this nuclear facility. Some question the wisdom of constructing such a sensitive set of reactors on a shifting barrier island. Others criticize building on a coastline prone to hurricanes. Last, some environmentalists puzzle over locating a nuclear facility on an island particularly prone to storm surge wash-overs. Hutchinson Island's elevation is lower than most Florida barrier islands. Consequently, it may be one of the first to reveal vulnerability as sea levels rise.
With all of that said, the plain fact has been that because of the nuclear power plant's existence, the necessary ingredients for a nude beach were nurtured. Continued isolation has been the key. Although this beach's naturist traditions go back 30-40 years or more, it still remains a miracle that Blind Creek Beach's pristine conditions have survived.
As a planned repository for scores of box-shaped beach condos, Hutchinson Island's intended over-development never happened. Negative homebuyer perceptions about living near a nuclear reactor, bolstered by those eerie emergency evacuation horns lining South Ocean Drive, conveniently stalled development interest during a time when local anti-development initiatives were ramping up for preservation.
Aerial Photograph & Map of Blind Creek Beach:
The Remarkable Environmental History of Hutchinson Island