Tuesday, May 20, 2008



CONTACT: Marguerite Jordan , (850) 245-2112 or (850) 528-8206



--Professional lifeguards and beach warning flags advise beach goers about marine conditions--


TALLAHASSEE – Highlighting May 19-26, 2008, as National Beach Safety Week, Governor Charlie Crist signed a proclamation urging all Floridians and visitors to enjoy our coastal resources while taking appropriate measures to protect themselves and their families from dangers of the aquatic environment. 


" Florida has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and ensuring that they are safely enjoyed by all is a top priority for the state," said Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Michael W. Sole. "Public education and awareness of beach conditions and safety practices can help friends and family have a pleasant beach experience during the summer season and all year long."


Florida has more than 1,200 miles of coastline, including more than 800 miles of sandy beaches. National Beach Safety Week, promoted through a partnership between DEP, the Florida Beach Patrol Chiefs Association and the Southeast and South Atlantic Regions of the United States Lifesaving Association, reminds visitors to use caution when enjoying the state's aquatic environment. Enjoy our beaches safely by:

·        Refraining from alcohol consumption before swimming.

·        Swimming near a lifeguard.

·        Swimming in groups.

·        Supervising children.

·        Observe beach safety warnings and flags before entering the water.


"It is important that visitors and residents be mindful of rip currents, and watch for the flag warning system that can save lives and prevent unnecessary tragedy," said DEP Secretary Sole.


In 2002, DEP's Florida Coastal Management Program developed a uniform warning and safety flag system for use by Florida 's beachfront communities.  DEP consulted with the United States Lifesaving Association, the International Life Saving Federation, state agencies and local governments to design a warning flag system that is simple to use and easy to interpret, based on the flag design and color coding proposed by the International Life Saving Federation. To encourage use of the system, the warning flags and interpretive signs to explain the flag's meanings are provided upon request free of charge annually to beachfront communities. Flag warnings and colors are:

·        Green: Low hazard, calm conditions, exercise caution.

·        Yellow: Medium hazard, moderate surf and/or currents.

·        Red: High hazard, high surf and/or strong currents.

·        Red over Red (two flags flying): Water closed to the public.

·        Purple: Dangerous marine life. 


For more information on beach safety and Florida 's Coastal Management Program, visit   www.dep.state.fl.us/cmp.  To see the Governor's proclamation, visit http://www.dep.state.fl.us/secretary/events/051908beach_safety.pdf.




The Department of Environmental Protection values your feedback as a customer. DEP Secretary Michael W. Sole is committed to continuously assessing and improving the level and quality of services provided to you. Please take a few minutes to comment on the quality of service you received. Simply click on this link to the DEP Customer Survey. Thank you in advance for completing the survey.

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