Sunday, September 5, 2010

Tales from the Road: Fort Lauderdale Beach

I decided to include a beach on this Tales from the Road to spotlight how many beaches around the country are changing and yet trying to keep some of their conservation efforts going. I'm not exactly sure this is working or even can work, but I suppose time will tell. But I can say that I had a great touristy-time just lounging on said beach.

Fort Lauderdale beach as undergone 15 years of redevelopment that has transformed it into a year-round tourist spot. If you've seen the old movie Where the Boys Are (and even Revenge of the Nerds II *snigger*) then you know how this stretch of Florida beach used to look. In the mid-1980's the City of Fort Lauderdale passed an ordinance prohibiting public drinking (not that that stopped the frat guys sitting next to us with their beer bong) and approved multi-million dollar bonds for redevelopment and renovation projects. This money was used to redesign the coastal roadway A1A, eliminate diagonal beach front parking, add landscaped medians, put in new traffic signals, expand sidewalks, and construct a beachwall. These renovations brought in a wave of cultural, leisure, and recreation businesses.

If you walk along Fort Lauderdale beach this time of year you will see several signs about protecting sea turtle nests. According to many, Florida's east coast is considered to be one of the top sea turtle nesting sites in the U.S. It is not uncommon to see loggerhead, green, and/or leatherback turtles swimming just off the coast. Sea turtles usually nest at night between the months of March and October, and it is important to know that should you come across a turtle digging a nest or laying eggs you should not approach her. Turtles are easily deterred from nesting by movement, noise, or light. If you decide you must watch the turtle then approach her from behind and try to stay out of sight. Why put this paragraph in this post at all? Well, when it comes to conserving wildlife a touristy beach attraction is not really what you would think of, but I noticed the signs and decided that something was better than nothing and decided to run with it.

Here are some pictures from Fort Lauderdale beach (but unfortunately none of sea turtles):

A view across A1A to the beach.
The two above images are the beach as viewed from the water.
And just because I sent lots of time on the Water Taxi, here's a look at the amazing
mansions lining the Intercoastal Waterway. Got $55 million I can have?
Here is the website of the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society.
http://www.oldfortlauderdale.org/

Learn more about hurricanes and hurricane history through South Florida's Sun-Sentinel newspaper:
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/weather/hurricane/

The website for the City of Fort Lauderdale:
http://ci.ftlaud.fl.us/
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