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Nassau County weighing new plan to reopen beaches

Officials are preparing to open beaches in case Gov. DeSantis lifts Florida’s stay-home order

Nassau County weighing new plan to reopen beaches
Nassau County weighing new plan to reopen beaches

Anticipating that Florida’s stay-home order will be lifted on Thursday, Nassau County officials said they’re preparing a plan to reopen the county’s beaches on Friday.

The plan, which would let people return to county beaches if they follow federal social distancing rules, will be presented to and then voted on by county commissioners at a special meeting on Wednesday evening.

If the plan passes, it would override another measure the county commission approved last week, which would open the county’s beaches to those seeking exercise from 6 a.m. to noon beginning May 6.

Under the proposal, beachgoers would not be allowed to camp, ride horses or drive on the beach. It also calls for people to limit groups to no more than 10 individuals.

Adam Fortenberry said he misses spending time with his son on the beach.

“I can’t take my jeep out for a little ride on the beach," he said. “Can’t find my sharks teeth. I can’t go out on the paddle board.”

Nearby Duval and St. Johns counties reopened their beaches April 17 and 18, respectively, on a limited basis.

Nassau County Manager Mike Mullin is recommending that only drivers with vehicles registered in Nassau County be allowed to use parking spaces at beach access points. Violators would be fined.

The special meeting is set for 6 p.m. Wednesday.

There will be limited seating available to those who wish to watch the meeting in-person. But the county is asking residents to follow along from home using the live feed on NassauClerk.com.

About the Authors:

A Florida transplant with Midwest roots, Garrett Pelican is the digital executive producer for News4Jax.

Reports weeknights for The Ten O'Clock News and News4Jax at 11.