January 24, 2007:
DEP answers in writing with the new, more limited scope for park rule enforcement at Shell Island.

DEP Park Planning Director Albert Gregory sent the following in an email to Bay Families with Dogs on 2/24/07:

Here are the answers to your questions about the comments I made at the public meeting regarding Shell Island on September 12, 2006.
  1. The state park's boundary on St. Andrew Bay is the mean high water line (MHWL). The legal definition of the MHWL is the average of high tides measured over a period of 19 years. Since the precise location of the MHWL on the bay side of Shell Island hasn't been determined, we interpret it to mean the highest elevation of the "wet beach". As I said at the public meeting, we (DEP, Florida Park Patrol) will not enforce state park rules (Ch. 62D-2, Florida Administrative Code) in areas below that elevation, including the adjacent waters, because those areas are not under the management jurisdiction of the Division of Recreation and Parks. As I also said at the meeting, however, this should not be construed to mean that other rules and laws will not be enforced. The public should understand that all applicable rules and laws will be enforced on Shell Island.

  2. We will not enforce state park rules on private property or on property owned by Bay County. Those areas are not under the management jurisdiction of the Division of Recreation and Parks. Again, this applies only to enforcement of Ch. 62D-2, F.A.C. All applicable rules and laws will be enforced on private property and on County property.

  3. We will not take action to enforce state park rules unless we are reasonably certain that the apparent violation is occurring within the park's boundary.