Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Beach Shorts

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Beach Shorts

Article excerpt

UNDERAGE CRACKDOWN

Police cited 22 convenience store clerks throughout the Beaches on Wednesday who sold tobacco and alcohol products to underage people.

Members of the Jacksonville Beach, Atlantic Beach and Neptune Beach police departments worked with three underage informants, who were never asked for identification by the employees who sold them alcohol and tobacco.

Police called the program Operation Safe Holiday to send the message that clerks need to ask for identification before selling alcohol or tobacco.

Twelve of the people cited with a notice to appear in court work at stores, gas stations or restaurants in Jacksonville Beach, four work in Neptune Beach and six work in Atlantic Beach.

HABITAT DONATION

Aqua East Surf Shop owner Sandy Forsyth presented a check Friday to Beaches Habitat that will be used to build a new home.

Forsyth had committed to match all Christmas donations made at the store for Beaches Habitat up to $25,000. The proceeds will be used to build a home for Shannon Dudley and her daughter in Atlantic Beach.

This is the second year Forsyth has pledged to match the Christmas donations. Three years ago, Forsyth made the December mortgage payment for all Beaches Habitat homeowners.

Herb and Miyuki Scheidel also pledged to match donations up to $25,000 for Beaches Habitat's Education Fund.

EMERGENCY FUNDING

After a devastating hurricane season, Gov. Jeb Bush this week signed into law a bill appropriating supplemental emergency funding for the restoration of Florida's storm-damaged beaches. Florida's appropriation provides $68 million for rebuilding dunes and repairing miles of shoreline battered by the forces of four hurricanes.

The hurricane recovery plan, developed by the state Department of Environmental Protection, identifies about 120 beach projects ranging from dune restoration to beach renourishment. While many impacted beach and dune systems will recover naturally with time, strategies detailed in the plan will accelerate the natural process and provide coastal communities with storm protection, state officials said.

"Florida's beaches and dunes act as the first line of defense against storms and high waves, providing a natural buffer for coastal habitats," said DEP Secretary Colleen Castille.

To prepare the beach recovery plan, DEP engineers and environmental managers assessed erosion along the Atlantic and gulf coasts, including along the Jacksonville Beaches and Ponte Vedra Beach coastlines, after the summer storms. Engineers completed about 1,000 hours of aerial and ground assessments across 25 coastal counties, shooting 76 hours of video and more than 5,200 photographs to document hurricane damage to the state's famed beaches, sandy dunes and coastal communities. …

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