Compared to Europe, there are few nude beaches in North America. Our nude beaches and public lands sometimes face pressure from government officials and developers who would rather designate such lands for development or non-nude use. AANR's government affairs team helps lobby against such changes.
Against this backdrop, it's no wonder that nudists treasure their nude beaches. Though no beach is ever completely safe from non-nudist interests, our shorelines have longstanding nudist use, attracting many thousands of annual visitors.
Friends of Blind Creek Beach is a group trying to establish a recognized, family naturist (clothing-optional) section at Blind Creek Beach on Florida's Treasure Coast. Although casual nude use has a long history at this remote, primitive and pristine beach, it is not formally recognized and its status is not currently secure.
Friends of Blind Creek Beach has a Facebook page at www.facebook.com/blindcreekbeach. If you haven't already done so, please "Like" it from your personal Facebook page as well as the Facebook page of your naturist group.
St. Lucie County, which has jurisdiction, is not opposed to this in concept. Indeed, the County's Blueway Advisory Committee (BAC, which focuses on strategic planning and management of regional water resources) recommended a few years ago establishing a clothing-optional beach, albeit at a different location, but it was not acted on. The groupp met preliminarily in early June with the Chief Deputy Sheriff, the Assistant County Attorney, and the County Commissioner that chaired the BAC to discuss proposals. Additional meetings are slated soon with the rest of the County Commissioners..
Notes: The beach is primitive, i.e., no water, restrooms, showers, or any other services. ("Go" before you go!) Bring all you need for the afternoon, e.g., food, water, sunscreen, etc., and pack it all back out again, including trash. ("Leave No Trace.") NO glass or alcohol!
The organizing team meets on a regular basis. They hold yoga on the beach each Saturday (weather permitting) at 1 p.m. All interested are welcome. To RSVP and/or for any questions, contact Nelson at: email@example.com.
Even European visitors accustomed to nudity in urban settings marvel at Miami’s Haulover Beach, one of the greatest success stories in North American nudism.
Nestled between the high-traffic Collins Avenue and the Atlantic Ocean on an undeveloped stretch of beach between high-end hotels and condominiums, Haulover attracts thousands of nudists on warm afternoons. They enjoy a white-sand beach, crystal-clear waters, and full beach amenities – all just a short drive to anywhere in Miami or Fort Lauderdale.
Thanks to the yeoman efforts of South Florida Free Beaches over nearly two decades and the economic impact of Haulover, the nudist designation seems as secure as a nude beach can be. That begs the question of why such nude beach models could not be followed elsewhere in North America.
Certainly nobody envisioned two decades ago the stretch of Haulover that’s now clothing-optional becoming a premier beach destination of any sort. Back then, gang members conducted drug transactions. The north parking lot that now generates millions in parking revenue for Dade County was a dirt lot used for industrial storage.
On July 14, 1991, a few dozen members of South Florida Free Beaches cordoned off an area with “Nude Sunbathing Zone” signs. SFFB members cleaned up and policed the area. The group won a legal battle in 1992 after five nude sunbathers were arrested.
Over the years, the group lobbied for the construction of the north parking lot and for lifeguards and has worked tirelessly to educate local officials, especially newly-elected ones. The county posted permanent signs informing visitors of the nude sunbathing designation.
Though development has encroached upon Haulover, with many of the kitschy beach hotels to the north torn down in recent years to make way for high-rise condominiums, the real estate crash has kept developers from wanting to extend their reach further south.
No one can deny the economic impact of Haulover. While it’s difficult to quantify the impact of top-free sunbathing at South Beach, Dade County officials only have to look at the increase in parking revenue at Haulover. From 1991 to 2004, parking revenue increased a whopping 445 percent, due primarily to the nude stretch. One survey showed that 50 percent of Haulover visitors are tourists, many from Europe.
In an area where skimpy clothing, glitz, and buzz are as much a part of the culture as Cuban cuisine and stone crabs, perhaps the best way to measure the success of Haulover is that it’s not seen as any big deal. After all, it’s been a South Florida institution for almost two decades.
AANR members visiting Haulover might consider staying at the Newport Beachside Hotel and Resort. The oceanfront resort, located less than a one-mile walk to Haulover, offers savngs to AANR members. Visit www.newportbeachsideresort.com for more information.
The well-known Suncoast Naturists, a non-landed club of nudists and naturists with members throughout Sarasota County and beyond, has kicked-off a petition drive targeted at Sarasota County Commissioner, Charles D. Hines.
The objective is to get a ¼ mile stretch of the under-utilized Caspersen Beach Park designated as clothing-optional.
“The popularity of clothing-optional beaches in Florida and around the world is growing at a dramatic rate, and there is nowhere near enough supply to satisfy the demand,” says John Schlinz, the petition’s creator.
“As Pasco County has shown, clothing-optional businesses are an important part of their tourist economy. And in Sunny Isles Beach – just north of Miami and home of the world famous Haulover Beach Park – the nudist / naturist visitors to the clothing-optional portion alone contribute millions of dollars, annually, to the local economy.”
AANR-Florida has pledged its assistance and resources toward seeing this initiative succeed. Says Jonathan Duffield, Co-Chair of the Government Affairs Committee,
“We will do whatever it takes.”
But we can’t do it without you. Please visit www.change.org at this address…
…and sign the petition. With enough support, we can make this happen.
The Suncoast Naturists organization was founded in 2000 to serve the recreational interests of nudists and naturists from Sarasota to Venice and throughout the area. John Schlinz is a committed activist and, among other capacities, serves as SCN’s newsletter editor.
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