Categories: Cocoa Beach

Opinion: Beach Rangers Needed To Stop Littering

Dear Editor:
The thirst for cutting spending without a thought to consequences is shocking. Is our city so cash-strapped that we must begin to mortgage itself to the people who would say: we can get away with anything there (Petition to Remove Beach Rangers from Cocoa Beach)?
The beaches in areas like Cocoa Nuts are a mess with trash that blows down the beach, irresponsible owners leave dog waste in the surf and others park their beach chairs on top of sea turtle nests. It’s my understanding that beach rangers are meant to help enforce these types of important laws to protect the beaches and keep them clean.
Cocoa Beach depends on tourism. We head down a dangerous path when we’re willing to sacrifice the cleanliness of our attractions or thin out our police force to pick up the slack that would be left behind from the elimination of the beach rangers.
I would rather see us fix the problem rather than take a knee-jerk reaction to cut. Let’s provide direction to get them focused on tackling the bigger issues like littering.
Jamie Bearse
Cocoa Beach, FL


Ranger Removal Petition From Cocoa Beach Grows

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  • While I abhor litter and pick it up every time I go to the beach, which is on a daily basis, I must disagree with you Jamie.You see, the Beach Rangers purpose is NOT litter control. They don't pick it up, and they simply cannot stop people from littering. If they witness someone littering, what do you think they're going to do? Yes, they can call the police. Do you think they're going to actually call the police if they witness someone littering? Are the police going to come down and issue a citation to the litterer? How many Rangers would it take to monitor everyone and stop people from littering? I get disgusted when I go to the beach like I did today and see a pile of cigarette butts and other trash - it sickens me. I clean it up when I see it. I wish these inconsiderate people would stop trashing our beaches. Our society is heading down a very dangerous path when we think that government can protect us from everything. Government, whether it be local, state, or federal is not the solution to our problems. This false belief that government can protect us (and stop people from littering) leads to its expansion, which is funded by either debt, higher taxes, or fines. In the end, there is little affect on the problem.The way I see it, the problem with the Beach Rangers is twofold:1) The Beach Rangers job is redundant and a waste of taxpayer money. We already have the CBPD and lifeguards patrolling the beach. Do we really need more people telling us what to do? People that don't even live in Cocoa Beach, and who are obviously not beach goers themselves? Why don't we just hire more lifeguards? More lifeguards are not going to stop the litter problem either, but they will at least make our beach safer for visitors, and I'm pretty sure they won't be hassling tourists about the ridiculous new laws (see below) enacted with the approval of the Beach Ranger program.2) The Beach Rangers enforce a bunch of ridiculous new laws. Laws like tent placement, the use of grills, digging holes in the sand, music devices, feeding the birds etc. There were roughly 15 new laws passed, and guess what? They're not published anywhere at the beach, so people don't know about them until a Beach Ranger comes up and spoils their fun. Imagine having to pack up your grill because it's the wrong size or fuel type after you just put on a bunch of meat? My solution to the problem would is to get rid of the Beach Rangers and to hire more lifeguards. If your sole focus is on litter, then let's take the money we spend on Beach Rangers and get a litter cleanup tractor, or give it to organizations such as the Surfrider Foundation, whose primary mission is litter.Now Jamie, please head back to the Facebook page and sign the petition ;)

  • Why isn't beach drinking banned yet? If that is banned then there would be very very few problems on the beach.

  • In response to Daniel the Beach Ranger. If the beach rangers were created to control crowds at Coconuts then why is the ordnance written to include all of Cocoa Beach.I do not support Beach Rangers. Actually I live by 4th St. North but actually do not ever goto the beach in Cocoa Beach any longer.

  • Apparently not. The anger and name calling of people who put themselves on the line to serve and protect indicates that someone needs a nanny.

  • Mark, Courtney and everybody else check out Miami beach 411 forum..type in Cocoa Beach in their search..nice rep you want for Cocoa Beach...I'm sure the tourist just love seeing all that when they get to the beach to have a fun day....lets have a drunk trip over my kid. Where were you when this issue was being discussed before it was passed?

  • no the nanny state is here to stay until the "I deserve...." attitude is gone....replaced with common sense. Which alot of the beach goers leave at home as soon as they leave their homes whether that is in Orange/Oseola counties or Cocoa Beach. Not all laws/rules need to be posted. What is posted can't even be followed by supposed high school English reading graduates. And yes I do understand people need to question why something was inacted, passed or approved, but at the same time people need to look at the problem not just the answer or response by local,state or federal governments. Where was everyone when this was being discussed? Oh I know...Its the it will not affect me because it will never pass...WTF it passed?!...(panties in a ruffle now)...lets repeal this or that, darn politicians to many rules or laws, lets get this or that repealed I deserve this or that! Again get involved during the process not after. Giving government money to one group is only going to raise other groups who demand they are entitled to the money also. Lifeguards are not there to stop or pick up litter or stop fights they are there to watch/safeguard the swimmers....what you are looking for is something like the Volusia County Beach can't have that because that would mean a 24/7/365 law enforcement on the beach, separate from your city's PD, which would really upset the "I deserve..." crowd. Sand castles are not illegal its the moon craters that are left by the children (read 20 somethings and above)....Googles it and see how many people are buried on any beach because they thought it would be cool to dig to China, then the beach sand collapses on top of them. Common sense what happened to it?! Nanny state here to stay......

  • I'm a beach ranger, I pick up trash as I partol, I fill the back of my gator up on average of 4 times every morning trying to help out Keep Brevard Beautiful. It's not just about new ordinances as those were primarily meant for the crowds at the beach end of minutemen(coconuts) but enforcing ordinances and laws that were already there that people dont obey, pets on the beach for instance is an on-going problem everyday, glass is the biggest problem(even though it is posted on every cross over that glass is not allowed on the beach) sorry if you have bad experience with us, but if your going to party dont do it at coconuts as that is where most of the new ordinances are focused at.

  • The main "problem area" of Cocoa Beach is in front of Coconuts. Thankfully, they are already doing a lot in the way of the litter problem. There are police officers and lifeguards already in place, and signs about not littering as well as several--maybe even hundreds of--trash cans to give an additional large hint. Also, there are frequent beach cleanups taking place.As I understand, and from personal experience, the Beach Ranger program is less about litter and more about enforcing regulations--in my opinion, mostly absurd regulations--about how people can enjoy the beach. There are a lot of things people "should not" do on a beach, but what are we going to do, write an ordinance for each one of these things and police our citizens to death? It comes down to a matter of simple principle: less government impinging upon the lives of sovereign individuals.In my opinion, support of the Surfrider Foundation would be more effective as far as the environmental concerns, that, and private sector social responsibility. I agree with the author that our beaches should be kept clean in order to sustain our tourist industry; the cleaner the beaches are kept, I believe the less apt visitors will be to leave trash as a sort of social restraint (clearly, this is a place where litter is not acceptable). Will it stop all people from littering? Of course not. But will the Beach Rangers either? I don't think so. Thank God our community cares enough about its beaches to have a strong participation level in beach cleanups through organizations such as the Surfrider Foundation.The beach cleaning tractor is also another great idea, as mentioned by Mark previously.

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