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Old 01-12-2012, 07:18 AM
bocasurfcam bocasurfcam is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 2
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Here is the update I received. looks like Miami Beach is kite friendly for now.

Miami Beach ends short-lived surfing ban
By David Smiley The Miami Herald

In response to protests from watersports enthusiasts, Miami Beach officials agreed Wednesday to end a recently enforced ban on surfing and other sports north of Third Street.

By David Smiley

Miami Beach's short-lived surfing ban north of Third Street ended Wednesday.
In response to a crowd of watersports enthusiasts complaining that surfers, paddleboarders, kitesurfers and other athletes had been sequestered to the southern tip of the beach, city officials agreed to once again open up other areas along the city's beachfront.
"We're conscious of the fact this was not handled appropriately and that surfing has always been allowed in Miami Beach," Commissioner Michael Góngora said.
Athletes were elated.
"I'm pretty thrilled," said Noah Grove, a 25-year-old kitesurfer who showed up at City Hall holding his board and carrying his kite on his back.
Grove said Wednesday was the first windy day in a month, but he delayed hitting the 23rd Street beach, a popular kitesurfing spot made briefly off-limits, after learning about a protest from a Facebook page.
"Part of the reason I moved down here was to" kitesurf, said Grove, who moved from Tennessee in June.
Assistant City Manager Hilda Fernandez said Wednesday morning that the city began actively enforcing the ban last month after receiving complaints about kitesurfing and paddleboarding on the beach.
Fernandez said that after researching the city's ordinances, legal staff found laws that banned surfing, paddleboarding, skiing, windsurfing and other water sports from all public beaches but two: The Jetty Beach and The First Street Tower.
Fernandez said she didn't know whether the city was previously unaware of those laws, but administrators told lifeguards, code enforcement and police to ask those breaking the law to relocate south of Third Street. The law states that violators could receive a $500 fine or 30 days in jail, but Fernandez said the city never issued fines or made arrests.
Still, athletes who say they have had almost free rein over the beach for years quickly drummed up opposition to what they said was enforcement of an "antiquated" 1964 law.
"The watersports community, we are freaking out," Mike Gibaldi, a board member of the surfing activist group Surfrider Foundation, told The Miami Herald. "To take all the surfers in Miami Beach and jam them down south of Second Street and also jam in paddle boards and kite surfers, that is a recipe for diaster, injuries, lawsuits, chaos."
Commissioner Jerry Libbin said he was even getting complaints from lifeguards asked to enforce the ban.
"Let them surf," he said. "They know where they're allowed."
City Attorney Jose Smith said Wednesday that surfing and other sports recently relegated to the southern tip of the beach are actually allowed to enter the water in a number of areas further north on the beach. The only spots they are restricted from, he said, are a dozen restricted swimming areas that stretch out 100 feet into the water.
The city plans to discuss the city's regulation of surfing and other watersports, as well as an apparent problem with illegal beach vendors, during an upcoming commission committee meeting.
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