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Thread: Eastern Lake Access - Yikes!


  1. #1

    Eastern Lake Access - Yikes!

    I have a vacation rental home at the Eastern Lake access and my current renters just went home early due to the inaccessibility of the beach because of the outfall encroaching that western side... My next guests are a wedding on the beach right there....

    Does anyone know if there are plans to "re-route" the outfall?? This could have a major impact on rentals in that area not to mention the danger. It is quite an active access point!

    Any suggestions for who to contact? Any help would be appreciated.
    Last edited by DiDa723; 04-27-2012 at 10:20 AM.

  2. #2
    The homes that were built beside the outfall are what is "re-routing the outfall. Or rather restricting it's natural course. Too bad nature was/is not allowed to take it's course in South Walton. The lake and our environment are more important than rentals.

  3. #3
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    Agreed, Jim. Would much prefer that people stop "re-routing" Mother Nature and let the lakes take care of themselves (as they somehow managed to do quite nicely long before people came along to muck it all up). I've been down to the outfall fairly frequently recently, and fail to see how it presents a danger. Apologies to your wedding party, but perhaps they can simply re-route a bit themselves? The purpose of a beach wedding is the beauty of the natural surroundings, right?
    One good reason to only maintain a small circle of friends is that three out of four murders are committed by people who know the victim. ~ George Carlin

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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by kitlit View Post
    Agreed, Jim. Would much prefer that people stop "re-routing" Mother Nature and let the lakes take care of themselves (as they somehow managed to do quite nicely long before people came along to muck it all up). I've been down to the outfall fairly frequently recently, and fail to see how it presents a danger. Apologies to your wedding party, but perhaps they can simply re-route a bit themselves? The purpose of a beach wedding is the beauty of the natural surroundings, right?
    Nice post!

    Don't you wish sometimes you could go back in a time machine and tell folks not to build so near the gulf and lakes? Imagine if their was no construction south of 30a - wow! Just a little parking and some restrooms and boardwalks. I guess there's no money in that. LOL pant pant

  5. #5
    I would not expect it to be re-routed. There is another public access walkover on Eastern Lake Road about 12 properties to the west. Hope that helps.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by jim45 View Post
    The homes that were built beside the outfall are what is "re-routing the outfall. Or rather restricting it's natural course. Too bad nature was/is not allowed to take it's course in South Walton. The lake and our environment are more important than rentals.
    Well said.

  7. #7

    Eastern Lake Outfall

    Quote Originally Posted by passin thru View Post
    Well said.
    I will have to admit, I'm very pro letting nature take it's course and have been/and am active in several local nature-related organizations... but don't forget, tourism is what Walton County is about and depends upon. The tax dollars from tourism (and rentals) are utilized to keep this area as "beautiful and pristine" as it can. The houses ARE there and I believe there are ways to address this in a symbiotic fashion- Re-routing does not mean manually closing or opening the outfall- it would just alleviate the potential hazard to the home(s) in it's path- in addition to the danger in the foot traffic around the edges. I've seen the sand break and people fall on several occasions.

    Would I like to not see any homes on the beach and be able to view the ocean when I drive down 30-A? Of course. But it's not reality. Walton County has done a terrific job of keeping the building codes in check given the popularity of this magnificent area and I pray it continues to keep that focus.

    Many of the area homeowners rely on the rental income to support their investment in this area and some rely on it entirely. The oil spill was catastrophic in many ways - why not work together on a situation that CAN be managed?

  8. #8
    That outflow and the pollution of Eastern Lake by fertilizer and septic runoff is a old and sore topic,

  9. #9
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    I haven't said a word about wishing the houses weren't there--they are and that's that. I was referring to people choosing when and where to open the lake, and trying to manipulate its course. I understand your concerns, because you've obviously had a guest leave unhappy. My take on it, though, because I often talk to tourists during the week while I'm on the beach, is that they are fascinated by it, and thrilled that it gives their children a place to play. In all the people I've talked to, I've never had anyone say, "Man, if it were just ten feet to the left..."

    I also understand your concerns about safety, as sometimes it does cut a little sharp on the drop off but, again, most people don't seem to be bothered by it and, if they are, there is another walkover just down the street. In fact, since the fencing was reestablished around the house on the easternmost corner of ELR, there's really not even room to walk in the places that are too steep. No adult would bother trying, and every adult keeps their kids away from it (except for the ones I saw Easter week who were letting their kids slide down the uber-steep cliff on boogie boards--yeah. They were REALLY concerned about it then... )

    Honestly, I've been on that lake, going to that section of beach my entire life, and truly fail to see any real need to try and reroute something that doesn't seem to be a problem for the majority of the tourists you're concerned about. I was down there yesterday, and it was business (funn) as usual--there was plenty of safe ground for people to walk on on both sides of the outfall, children running and playing while their parents relaxed nearby, and lots of little crabs and fishes enjoying their natural habitat. Why on earth should we change that?
    One good reason to only maintain a small circle of friends is that three out of four murders are committed by people who know the victim. ~ George Carlin

    A woman who doesn't wear perfume has no future. ~ Coco Chanel

  10. #10
    Very nice post, kitlit, thanks.

    I wonder if the unhappy guests would have been so unhappy if they had an understanding of how rare these lakes are, how the outlets naturally move around, and how changing that would screw up the hydrology of the lake?
    In my experience knowledge goes a long way towards understanding.
    Too bad the TDC can't see their way to using some of the money earmarked for paving over state forest and putting it towards an educational campaign. They could provide rental home owners, especially ones located near the dune lakes, with informative material to place in the homes, for instance.

  11. #11
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    Just curious what it is that you think makes the beach inaccessible? I've been there when the outfall was up against the sand fencing, but you could almost always walk in the outfall itself.

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    The TDC could also put out a brochure available to all who rent their places that covers "do's" and "don'ts" for the beach. Many of our owners give some information such as "don't walk or play on the dunes" but it is often not complete and is not standardized. If they already do this, I have not heard about it.
    I think of government as the Mafia without the moral authority or predictability. Ron Hart

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Andy A View Post
    The TDC could also put out a brochure available to all who rent their places that covers "do's" and "don'ts" for the beach. Many of our owners give some information such as "don't walk or play on the dunes" but it is often not complete and is not standardized. If they already do this, I have not heard about it.
    Here is one brochure they have produced that has a good bit of information. And it is downloadable...

    http://www.visitsouthwalton.com/visitor-guide-brochures

  14. #14
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    One last point about the Eastern Lake - The Neighborhood Assn along with the county actually has a permit from the DEP to open the lake whenever it reaches a certain height. An engineering firm was contracted with and using past data, an actual historical trigger point was established. So mother nature and the county can actually cause the lake to open however I have observed tourists actually trying to open the lake at times and when this actually happens, the outflow can change. Any brochure developed should also clearly state that opening any coastal dune lake is illegal and can be subject to a fine.

  15. #15
    Here is one brochure they have produced that has a good bit of information. And it is downloadable...
    Not bad for a start, but the main problem is that it is not widely distributed, and more importantly, it isn't encouraged. The "corporate culture" at the TDC needs to change. Environmental preservation needs to become a deeply held value and not just another marketing tool. If the TDC had the right mindset, they could do so much more with their resources. And they never would have gotten the idea of putting a so-called discovery center on land purchased with taxpayer preservation funds.

  16. #16
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    I think the main thing to remember is that we are dealing with nature. It will not always do what you want and you cannot micromanage it.

    Renters going home because of where the outfall is located is like them going home because it rains or there is a red flag up.
    Basically, I'm just passing through on my way to Australia.

  17. #17
    http://www.sowal.com/coastal-dune-la...-walton-county

    We intend to keep posting more info, photos, and videos about the lakes, and have always had the intent of helping protect them, and to help people to learn about and enjoy the lakes responsibly.
    Connect with SoWal   

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    Thanks, Kurt, for the link.

    This is a very useful thread, and again, I appreciate all of the hard work you do to make South Walton a better place and SoWal.com a vehicle for doing this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DiDa723 View Post
    I have a vacation rental home at the Eastern Lake access and my current renters just went home early due to the inaccessibility of the beach because of the outfall encroaching that western side... My next guests are a wedding on the beach right there....

    Does anyone know if there are plans to "re-route" the outfall?? This could have a major impact on rentals in that area not to mention the danger. It is quite an active access point!

    Any suggestions for who to contact? Any help would be appreciated.
    My suggestion is that you contact Mother Nature. Boo Hoo for your renters that couldn't find another place to access the beach. No ONE should be messing with these lakes they are rare and should be guided by nature. Danger, really?
    Last edited by Wavewatcher; 05-06-2012 at 11:44 PM.

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