Hundreds join hands in support of customary use

COMMUNITY MEMBERS gathered at local public beach accesses on July 1 in support of customary use of the beach. (Photo courtesy of Jana Mason Caldwell)

By DOTTY NIST

On July 1, one year after a state law negated Walton County’s customary use beach ordinance, residents and visitors gathered on local beaches to join hands in support of customary use.

THE DATE of the Stand Your Sand event marked one year since Walton County’s customary use beach ordinance was invalidated by state law. (Photo courtesy of Jana Mason Caldwell)

According to organizer Dave Rauschkolb, an estimated 200 people participated in the event, known as “Stand Your Sand,” which took place at noon on July 1 at a number of public beach accesses in Walton County. Rauschkolb, a Walton County resident and restaurateur, said that most people gathered at the Ed Walline Regional Beach Access, the main event location.

Florida Beaches for All (FBFA), a Walton County-based nonprofit organization focused on preserving and perpetuating the doctrine of customary use throughout Florida, worked to get the word out about the event. Rauschkolb serves as a member of the organization.

A court complaint filed by Walton County aimed at affirming customary recreational use of the beach by the public is proceeding in Walton County Circuit Court, with hundreds of beachfront property owners having filed motions in opposition to the county complaint. Florida Beaches for All’s motion to intervene in the lawsuit in support of Walton County was granted on April 16.

A case management conference in connection with the complaint has been set for August 5.