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PRESERVE ACCESS at Tiger Tail Park, Marco Island, FL, USA

lots of valuable articles from Rick Iossi, FKA Inc.


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RickI
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PRESERVE ACCESS at Tiger Tail Park, Marco Island, FL, USA

Postby RickI » Fri Jan 06, 2006 7:44 am

I have been keeping track of discussion of access issues at this fairly unique spot for years through Marcus, Latino, Mark, Jimmy, east coast riders and others. It is an obvious shoreside accessible launch for westerly frontal winds, one of the VERY few in South Florida.

The problems have been growing as has the population of visiting kiteboarders (over 100 kites seen on several intervals within too tight an area).

Some of the reported problems include:

1. Kiteboarders removing No Trespassing signs and boundary ropes from protected bird sanctuary areas and walking through and flying around these sensitive areas mainly in the south lagoon. Far less than this has killed access in MANY areas around the world to date. Get a clue guys this sort of behavior could easily blow us out of the water.

2. Complaints to Park Rangers from other park users about kiteboarders riding too close to bathers within the south lagoon. Ignorant behavior of kiteboarders in response to Park Rangers.

3. Kiteboarders landing and launching on private beaches in front of waterfront, multimillion dollar homes mainly within the south lagoon. One guy was dragged/lofted into one of these property/homes by riding too close to shore in marginal conditions already. These behaviors have caused complaints and serious threats to access in other areas as well. Who has more clout with local government, out of town kiteboarders or guys that pay $100k USD/year property tax?

4. Dangerous quantities of kiteboarders trying to ride within too tight an area at the same time within both lagoons and particularly the south lagoon. It is nothing more than multiple accidents waiting to happen.

5. Excessive quantities of trash being left around the area by visiting kiteboarders in and around the bird sanctuary and bather area.

6. Complaints received by the County and Park Rangers resulted in ALL kiteboarders being called out of the water by the Sheriff within the last week or so. Problems were discussed and a demand for getting things sorted out and reduction of the complaints required.

Now over to us. If we keep doing what we have been doing the outcome is obvious.

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RickI
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Postby RickI » Fri Jan 06, 2006 7:45 am

For mulitple reasons riding in the southern lagoon, the one closest to the parking lot, bathers, protected birds, expensive homes, etc. NEEDS TO FALL way off. For practical purposes it appears that it should end.

Image

Another thing that wasn't mentioned above. At low tide the lagoons particularly the one to the south becomes extremely shallow. No big deal if nothing goes wrong but if you strike bottom & miscontrol, wrap lines with a few of the hundreds of other lines potentially present flying around the place ... you get the idea. This bad practice has paralyzed, knocked out, fractured ankles and otherwise maimed riders for sometime.

The authorities have put us on notice with repeated warnings in past years. Sound familar? It should, it has been repeated enough times in other places around the world.

We need to use D I S T A N C E. How many times in the past would needless stupid problems have been avoided if this simple thing had been done? I understand riders should plan to walk 20 to 25 minutes into the launch area for the north lagoon and offshore area routinely. People are sometimes just too lazy for that and we are now trying to deal with the consequences.

One idea is to ride OUTSIDE the lagoons, gasp! It may not be butter but it isn't offshore wind unlike the east coast and it should see this unique launch stay open longer that it looks it will under current conditions.

Worried about locals? These guys have been dealing with this stuff for years. Guess what? Many now don't even ride and launch here routinely, they use chase boats among the MANY islands and bars away from this threatened area.

Get a clue guys and work to protect this spot. The writing is on the wall for Hobie Beach being closed in the near future to ALL shoreside water access in the Miami area. Without a boat or a desire to drive further and further away, what other options are we leaving ourselves in westerly winds?
Last edited by RickI on Fri Jan 06, 2006 1:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
RickI
Very Frequent Poster
Posts: 8671
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2002 1:00 am
Kiting since: 1998
Local Beach: SE Florida
Gear: Cabrinha
Brand Affiliation: Cabrinha
Location: Florida

Postby RickI » Fri Jan 06, 2006 7:47 am

Some preliminary local kiting guidelines that have been put together by local and non-local riders with regard to Tiger Tail include -

1. Pick up trash, cans bottle papers
2. Don't touch or violate no trespassing signs
3. Don't kite on the first or southern lagoon, ride in the north lagoon in smaller numbers and outside the lagoons in the Gulf.
4. Respect bystanders and avoid complaints.
5. Stay at least 100 ft. from bystanders. (100 m + is more like it)


Act for best effect or continue to ignore these simple points as has so often been done at launches elsewhere and get ready to be shut down. Do what ever you want, dis riders working to keep us there, rangers, bystanders ... get ready to be booted out, again.

It is that simple, it is up to us.


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