Treasure Coast Naturists maintains a citizens' committee called "Friends of Blind Creek Beach". The group's trained volunteers serve as "Beach Ambassadors" for our clothing optional shoreline. In choosing a name for our envoys, TCN borrowed the term "ambassador". It's a ubiquitous title that is used by hundreds of other non-profits nationwide to quietly provide additional support in national, state, and county parks. Patrolling participants help keep Blind Creek Beach a safe and inviting place for visitors, wildlife, and native plants.
TCN's roaming volunteers essentially serve as the park's informal (non-official) advocates. Their polite, low-key, and enlightened presence ensures continued health and safety, adherence to all laws and regulations, and a first line of defense for Blind Creek Park's sensitive ecosystem.
Typically, as one walks the trail from the Blind Creek Beach Parking Area to the ocean, the first shoreline views may include the information table staffed by these emissaries. If a visitor has a question or concern, here is a tangible presence of knowledgable people who can assist. TCN's "Mission Statements" (located on our home page), and TCN's "Beach Etiquette" embody the volunteers' guiding principles.
Another set of objectives for Friends of Blind Creek Beach is to lessen negative human impacts on the park's ecosystem, promote TCN membership, set-up clothing-optional warning signs, provide additional information regarding the national naturist movement, monitor the TCN-funded bathrooms in the parking area, and disseminate nude beach souvenir gear (via donations to TCN). These tasks help FBCB promote commonly accepted norms of conduct and keep Blind Creek Beach a family-friendly sanctuary. Essentially, what is acceptable behavior in the "textile world", remains valid in the "naturist world". They are the same. Our Beach Ambassadors help to uphold these common sense standards.
If kindly-stated, corrective information is resisted by an offender, Friends of Blind Creek Beach members have more options. When warranted, volunteers may call a sheriff's deputy for assistance. When a deputy is summoned, one could expect a demand for compliance, expulsion from the beach, or even arrest and incarceration. It all depends on the severity of the problem.
Typically, what are the four most common infractions that rogue or anti-social visitors might inflict on the park? Below is a brief list addressed by Beach Ambassadors.
1) Illegal trespass into the dunes. By law, one's towel and umbrella cannot be placed within the vegetated dunes or on the dune's eastern-most sloped embankments. Humans and their pets cannot walk here, period. Bird eggs are adapted to look like the sand and are easily crushed by careless intruders. Key plants that serve as vital food for wildlife may be no match to endless trampling by human feet. Here's an example of people's repeated thoughtlessness. An illegal pathway has been inappropriately worn into the dunes between the observation deck and the beach. We ask that you refrain from using this unsanctioned trail. What is the best practice? Stay at least 10 feet eastward of all dune vegetation and inclined sand mounds.
If you see people illegally entering protected dunes, you as a citizen can do something about it. First call the Tallahassee based Wildlife Alert Team at 888-404-3922 and report it. Click on Wildlife Alert to learn more, including how reporting a violation might make you eligible to receive a reward up to $1000. They are part of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which administers parklands. To have law enforcement dispatched to Blind Creek Beach, call 561-357-4200, extension #7. Fines involving illegal dune entry range from $100 to $500. The fear of fines or arrest should act as a deterrent.
On the bigger issue of conservation, FWC is updating its Action Plan for 2017, which focuses on statewide conservation activity. To view FWC's last updated edition (with over 600 pages) click here. FWC states that the "highest priority statewide threat" is "alterations of the physical environment". This include the protection of dunes.
2) Littering. Pack your gear in and pack all of it out. Leave only footprints. Please don't create a mess that others will have to clean up. Lessen your impacts on this sensitive ecosystem. Mother nature thanks you.
3) Roaming dogs. Let's begin by acknowledging that dogs are great in appropriate places. All "service dogs" protected under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) should be leashed or at their owner's sides at all times. A service animal is a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability. These specially trained pets must not be allowed to roam the seashore, harass other beach-goers, leave defecation (and pass on the threat of hookworm transmission to humans), chase wildlife, or trample on sensitive plants or bird nests in the dunes. "Emotional support dogs" do not enjoy the same ADA protections.
When warranted, volunteers may call a sheriff's deputy for assistance. When a deputy is summoned, one could expect a demand for compliance, expulsion from the beach, or even arrest and incarceration. It all depends on the severity of the problem.
4) Inappropriate lewdness. Fortunately, this is a problem associated with a very small minority of first-time visitors. They may fail to understand that a public nude beach is not a place to combine nudity with sexual conduct. Masturbation, sexual intercourse, displaying erections, and harassment of others, - are never appropriate in front of other Blind Creek's visitors, including naturist families with children. These acts are illegal. If spotted, Beach Ambassadors are instructed to call the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office. A deputy may remove the offender.
Many of these negative issues can quickly escalate into the realm of threatening or unlawful behavior. The laws of the State of Florida are clear and deputies are entrusted with enforcing our state's statutes. The presence of cordial Beach Ambassadors helps contribute to peaceful relations at Blind Creek Beach. Sometimes they are the park's first line of defense. We thank them for their service, for keeping this piece of paradise an appropriate place for families, and for maintaining an environment of civility.
Would You Like to Get Involved and Become Part of a Team?
Do you want to make new friends? Are you a diplomat in search of a new purpose? Why not volunteer to become a TCN-Friends of BCB Beach Ambassador? We will be sponsoring a training session soon. You'll join a great social network and a community of supportive new colleagues. To enlist, send us an email using the button below. We've been waiting for your involvement!