Madeira Beach is 2-miles of the most beautiful beach on the gulf coast of Florida. Thousands of people from around the world come to enjoy the weather, shopping, dining, and nightlife but the biggest attraction is the pristine stretch of sand overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.
On August 5, 2020, the Madeira Beach City Commission took a bold step to protect their piece of paradise by unanimously passing Ordinance 2020-15 increasing the penalty for littering anywhere in the city to $250 for a first offense, and $500 for every offense thereafter. The update to the City of Madeira Beach Code of Ordinances, Section 34 (32-40) also provides enforcement power to “any law enforcement agency, code compliance officer, and any employee of the City of Madeira Beach designated by the City Manager.”
“We have seen a dramatic increase in the amount of litter on the beach and throughout the community recently and we are just not going to put up with it,” said Mayor John Hendricks. “This is not about making money, and I hope we never have to write a citation, but if that’s what it takes to protect paradise, we will write that ticket.”
The biggest trash problem is cigarette butts. The cellulose filters can take up to 15-years to degrade and pose a significant risk to the environment, animals, and marine life. Even when the filters do break down, they leave tiny pieces of plastic that can be ingested by animals and find their way into waterways and the gulf.
In support of the updated ordinance, the city is developing, an education and information campaign called “Protect Paradise”. The campaign will feature new signage at beach access points, postcards for visitors staying at rental properties, a social media campaign, and other items featuring the phrase “Protect Paradise”.
For more information, contact Curt Preisser, City of Madeira Beach Public Information Officer at 727-391-9951 x299 or firstname.lastname@example.org.