Surviving Amelia

I live in Fernandina Beach, which is now known as Amelia Island. The Island has had that name since 1562, however, Amelia became obsolete through the years. But sales and marketing is paramount these days, and well, it does sound pretty.

It use to be a small fishing village. Those were the days. And then came, “The Plantation.” Back in the mid 70’s, development dug it’s first foot hold, and has yet to cease. The once beautiful island is home. to concrete, electrical wires, golf course chemicals and a large population of high end vehicles, either sreaming from one red light to another, or creeping at a syrupy slow pace, driven by an ocatarian, hoping to arrive alive.

We all want to arrive alive. We all want to enjoy the island. For me, it becomes more and more of an endeavor, day by day. I am a minimalist. I like to surf fish. I use one rig. I hold it in my hand. I now share the beach with a slew of fisherman. Most will have four or five pole holders for each person in the car.

Yes, we drive our vehicles on the beach, in designated areas. At one time, we had access to the coastline. Now we are limited to one mile, of beach.

And it’s all because of the turtles. They are endangered. So, mile by mile we have been removed from the beach, to protect them. OK. I love nature. I love the turtles. I will hunker down, in between the other nature lovers, and catch my fish. I follow the rules. I have to. If I don’t there’s a man, in a truck who will promptly arrest me.

Local businesses and residents, on the beach, break the laws, implemented to help the turtles survive. They tout the turtles as a tourist attraction, and the then promptly break the number one rule. They have on massive, bright lights, that disorient the hatchlings and send them inland, and to their death.

We have a supposed, turtle patrol, to assist in protecting them. But they would never speak out against the resorts. How could they? That’s not how it works here. From looking at the beach, in the early morning, dark hours, it’s astounding to witness the south end, lit up like Christmas. A definite no-no. But hey ho. They are them. And well, let’s just call them boss.

So, I say, the turtles are used as a tool, to create an exclusive beach, for those that own homes, seaside, on Fletcher Avenue. And for the enhancement, of privacy, for the major tourist industry, that runs and owns this island.

So be it.

Yes, the best thing around here is to keep your head down and your mouth shut. Obey the law. If the “others” don’t, and they cause mass destruction; don’t worry, be happy.

Put your blinders on.

If you mention an infraction, this will be the pat response. Or witch-hunt. Or, it wasn’t me. Or whatever.

There was a movie made about this island years ago; The Sunshine State. It highlighted the changes and corruption here.

The woman that was caught, with her three story building, blazing in the morning hours, and sending a nest of babies away from the ocean, shared the above comment, on social media. It wasn’t her fault. And no one should claim foul.

Okay, I got it. We’re suppose to act like, we like the trendy turtles. But not really.

May all the wee ones arrive alive.

Really, not really?

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