Shell Island Crackdown

By: Mr. Adam Kramer
By: Mr. Adam Kramer

St. Andrews St. Park rangers are in the middle of a crackdown on people who bring their dogs and alcohol onto the island.

Many of the 120,000 people who come to Shell Island every year either didn't realize or chose to ignore laws against alcohol on the island, so state park rangers are issuing reminders in the form of written warnings and citations.

The man leading this enforcement campaign says it's long overdue.

"Well, I've always wanted to enforce Shell Island, but due to manpower limitations I've been unable to," said Florida Department of Environmental Protection Captain David King.

Rangers are also busting people who bring dogs to the island. King says the dogs disturb the island's fragile ecosystem and haven't been allowed on the island in years, and he says surprisingly the biggest offenders of both the dog and alcohol ordinances are locals.

"Most of the people we're coming in contact with that have been violating the law are private boat owners," said King.

In just the last two weekends, rangers have invaded Shell Island on all-terrain vehicles, issuing more than 50 citations and ordering 15 people to appear in court on the charges.

King admits it hasn't made park officials popular with the locals, but he says it's their job and it's the law.

"We don't the make the rules or the state statutes, but we are required and obligated by our oath of office to enforce those rules and regulations," said King.

If you're cited for having a dog or alcohol on the island you can face up to 60 days in jail and up to a $500 fine.

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