A Fourth at the beach? Keep safety in mind

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SPECIAL TO THE DAYTONA TIMES

Large crowds are expected at the beach for the upcoming July 4 holiday weekend. With COVID-19 concerns, all beachgoers are reminded to maintain physical distancing, avoid congregating in large groups and wear a face covering when distancing is not possible.

All in-season vehicular beach access ramps will be open to vehicles for beach parking from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. However, with morning high tides, the opening of some ramps may be delayed. Soft sand is an issue on many portions of the beach, especially in the Ormond Beach and Daytona Beach areas.

If using beach parking, vehicles must park at a blue post or conservation post, which are placed at 25-foot intervals. To avoid crowds and easily maintain physical distancing, beachgoers are encouraged to access the beach in a less-populated area.

Beach Safety

There is a risk of rip currents this weekend, and beachgoers should swim in front of a staffed lifeguard tower. Afternoon thunderstorms are also forecasted, which bring the risk of lightning. Beachgoers are reminded to exit the water and seek shelter in the case of thunder.

Fireworks

Use and/or possession of fireworks is prohibited on Volusia County beaches. Law enforcement officers will confiscate fireworks and may issue a fine. Senate Bill 140 regarding the use of fireworks on designated holidays does not apply to Volusia County beaches.

Fireworks cannot be used on the beach, at beachfront parks or access points (including ramps and walkovers) or at beachfront buildings, such as businesses, hotels, condominiums or homes. They create an enormous amount of trash that is extremely difficult to remove and is often ingested by sea life.

The loud noises and bright lights may also deter sea turtles from using the beaches to nest at night. Fireworks also pose a great safety hazard for beachgoers.

Beach clean-up After your day at the beach, flatten sandcastles, fill in holes, and take your chairs and equipment with you; do not leave any tents, chairs or other materials on the beach overnight. This is an easy way to reduce obstacles faced by nesting sea turtles, which have begun visiting the beach at night to lay eggs.

Trash and recycle cans are placed at regular intervals along the beach. Environmentally friendly trash bags are available upon request at toll booths and from the beach litter team. Porter services will canvas both the beach and coastal parks to assist with the collection of trash, empty trash and recycle cans, and clean restroom facilities.

For more information, follow Volusia County Beaches on Facebook and Twitter, download the free Volusia Beaches app from the Goggle Play or Apple App Store, or visit www.volusia.org/beach.

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