Instead of Bitching About Sea Turtles

…maybe he should think about moving.

Michael Martino’s specialty license plate reads “Helping Sea Turtles Survive.” He rents kayaks and bicycles instead of Jet Skis and motor scooters at his eco-friendly beach shop on this Florida Panhandle barrier island.
But the San Francisco native, who has seen two homes destroyed by hurricanes since 2004, calls himself “an environmental hypocrite” because he supports sand dredging that will help protect the island’s homes from storm surge but has killed three rare sea turtles.
One more turtle death would likely result in the project being shutdown until fall, leaving two miles of shoreline exposed through the bulk of hurricane season, which began June 1. The turtles are close to shore because it is mating season.
“There is a saying about how you can be a tree hugger until you start to get splinters,” said Martino, who lost his home to Hurricane Ivan two years ago, rebuilt, and saw the new home washed away by Hurricane Dennis less than a year later.

I’ll bet he’s pi$$ing and moaning about his insurance rates, too. If you’ve had two houses washed away, we don’t owe you a third, nor the tax dollars to rebuild your buffer storm after storm. You live on a BARRIER island and that’s what they do ~ migrate to and fro. No doubt you knew that, just like the folks on ShelL Island outside of Wilmington, N.C.

…When the nine-story Shell Island Resort was built in the 1980s on Wrightsville Beach only half a mile from Mason Inlet, its developers signed permits acknowledging that they were building in an erosion-prone area. The permit says, “In signing this permit, the permittee acknowledges the risks of erosion associated with developing on the site and recognizes that current state regulations do not allow shoreline erosion control structures such as seawalls to be erected for developments initiated after June 1, 1979.”
“The notice was given to the developer,” and the developer then sold units to individuals as condominiums, Moffitt says.

I know it’s not gonna happen, but I would dearly, dearly love to see Florida adopt North Carolina’s rules on hardened erosion control structures, enforce them and go from there to regulate beach renourishment.

6 Responses to “Instead of Bitching About Sea Turtles”

  1. mojo says:

    Hmmm… Shell Beach?
    How do you get there, again?

  2. DirtCrashr says:

    San Francisco native – That says it all…

  3. The_Real_JeffS says:

    Beach nourishment — what a joke.

  4. Dan Collins says:

    Why bitch about the Turtles? They were poppy, yeah, but the intro structure of “Happy Together” really is pretty novel.

  5. Nightfly says:

    When I was in college I remembered an exhibit in Liberty Science Center about the evils of beach erosion. Always thought that it was a bit silly, since if this has been going on for millions of years, why are there still beaches? It all has to go somewhere, right?
    For example, New Jersey has Cape May. This is one example of what’s befallen the town over the past 150+ years: all of South Cape May eventually washed away. (Click the “Migratory Bird Refuge” link and you are greated with: “Just offshore, the remnants of the old town of South Cape May lie scattered on the ocean floor. In the early 1950s, the former Victorian resort town was destroyed by a storm and overtaken by the ocean.” I’ve seen pictures of where the town’s trolley line would be in relation to the current coastline.)
    But again, it has to go somewhere, right? In this case the answer is up the coast to Wildwood. Their boardwalk is now nearly 300 yards from the ocean in some spots, and piers built to jut out into the water now no longer reach it. (Google “erosion, Wildwood NJ,” and you’ll get a good cross-sampling.)

  6. Mike Rentner says:

    Nightfly said, “why are there still beaches? It all has to go somewhere, right?”
    Well, yes, it has to go somewhere. Into the bottom of the ocean is one place. There needn’t be a compensating addition to the shoreline though.

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