Target: Treasure Island Mayor Robert Minning
Goal: Prevent the degradation of beaches along Treasure Island, Florida by banning vehicles from driving on them
Nestled along the Gulf-Coast region of Florida, the city of Treasure Island has a rich and varied history. Its name stems from an attempt to raise values in the area in 1915 when property owners buried wooden chests. Shortly thereafter they “discovered” these chests and claimed they had been filled with treasure as a means of getting people to flock to the region. When word of this spread, the name Treasure Island quickly stuck.
Unfortunately this rich and picturesque city is being forced to watch as its beaches are slowly destroyed. A combination of vehicles often driving on and parking along the beach itself in conjunction with frequent large-scale events (which involve erecting and destroying temporary structures in support of the event) have taken an enormous toll. These vehicles and structures compact the sand, making it more akin to concrete than traditional beach sand. As a result of these activities, erosion is increased and sea turtle nesting habits are heavily impacted.
Florida’s State Constitution clearly states that, “It shall be the policy of the state to conserve and protect its natural resources and scenic beauty.” It is time Treasure Island started adhering to that constitution and took action to prevent the destruction of its beaches. Public Parking must be banned on the beach itself. In addition, the physical impact on the beach from events must be minimized. This is the only way to protect and preserve this beautiful and historic beach community.
Dear Mayor Minning,
The city of Treasure Island is a valuable piece of Florida’s Gulf Coast region. Its long and storied history dates back to the 1500s. The city was dubbed Treasure Island in 1915 when a group of property owners decided to bury several wooden chests, then “discover” them and release to the public that they had been filled with treasure. What was essentially a publicity stunt served its purpose well and for nearly 100 years now it has held onto its nomenclature.
A city with such an eclectic past and beautiful surroundings deserves the utmost effort for its protection. This is sadly not the case at present. The beaches of Treasure Island are being irreparably harmed by vehicles that are allowed to drive directly onto and park on the beach itself. In addition, large-scale events and the associated infrastructure necessary to conduct them are similarly contributing to the degradation of Treasure Island’s beaches. The weight of vehicles on the beach serves to compact the sand until it nearly resembles concrete. This hardened sand is actually more vulnerable to erosion. In addition, it has a negative impact on nesting habits of local sea turtle populations that are already threatened without this additional stressor.
Florida’s State Constitution overtly calls for a universal dedication to preserving the natural environment as well as the scenic beauty of the state. It is time that Treasure Island upheld this ideology and banned non-emergency vehicles from driving or parking on any of its local beaches. In addition, efforts must be made to minimize the scope and impact of any events being held on its beaches. To ensure there are worthwhile beaches here in the future, Treasure Island must be protected in the present.
[Your Name Here]