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The Florida Statutes

The 2018 Florida Statutes

Title XXVIII
NATURAL RESOURCES; CONSERVATION, RECLAMATION, AND USE
Chapter 380
LAND AND WATER MANAGEMENT
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F.S. 380.276
380.276 Beaches and coastal areas; display of uniform warning and safety flags at public beaches; placement of uniform notification signs; beach safety education.
(1) It is the intent of the Legislature that a cooperative effort among state agencies and local governments be undertaken to plan for and assist in the display of uniform warning and safety flags, and the placement of uniform notification signs that provide the meaning of such warning and safety flags, at public beaches along the coast of the state. Because the varying natural conditions of Florida’s public beaches and coastal areas pose significant risks to the safety of tourists and the general public, it is important to inform the public of the need to exercise caution.
(2) The Department of Environmental Protection, through the Florida Coastal Management Program, shall direct and coordinate the uniform warning and safety flag program. The purpose of the program shall be to encourage the display of uniform warning and safety flags at public beaches along the coast of the state and to encourage the placement of uniform notification signs that provide the meaning of such flags. Unless additional safety and warning devices are authorized pursuant to subsection (7), only warning and safety flags developed by the department shall be displayed. Participation in the program shall be open to any government having jurisdiction over a public beach along the coast, whether or not the beach has lifeguards.
(3) The Department of Environmental Protection shall develop a program for the display of uniform warning and safety flags at public beaches along the coast of the state and for the placement of uniform notification signs that provide the meaning of the flags displayed. Such a program shall provide:
(a) For posted notification of the meaning of each of the warning and safety flags at all designated public access points.
(b) That uniform notification signs be posted in a conspicuous location and be clearly legible.
(c) A standard size, shape, color, and definition for each warning and safety flag.
(4) The Department of Environmental Protection is authorized, within the limits of appropriations or grants available to it for such purposes, to establish and operate a program to encourage the display of uniform warning and safety flags at public beaches along the coast of the state and to encourage the placement of uniform notification signs that provide the meaning of the flags displayed. The department shall coordinate the implementation of the uniform warning and safety flag program with local governing bodies and the Florida Beach Patrol Chiefs Association.
(5) The Department of Environmental Protection may adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 necessary to administer this section.
(6) Due to the inherent danger of constantly changing surf and other naturally occurring conditions along Florida’s coast, the state, state agencies, local and regional government entities or authorities, and their individual employees and agents, shall not be held liable for any injury or loss of life caused by changing surf and other naturally occurring conditions along coastal areas, whether or not uniform warning and safety flags or notification signs developed by the department are displayed or posted.
(7) The Department of Environmental Protection, through the Florida Coastal Management Program, may develop and make available to the public other educational information and materials related to beach safety and may also authorize state agencies and local governments to use additional safety and warning devices in conjunction with the display of uniform warning and safety flags at public beaches.
History.s. 9, ch. 2002-275; s. 1, ch. 2005-161; s. 14, ch. 2014-151.