“We are extremely pleased with today’s order from the United
States Supreme Court which upholds Florida’s position regarding the
importance of beach restoration. Florida’s Beaches and Shore
Preservation Act implements the State’s constitutional duty to
protect Florida’s beaches, and achieves a reasonable balance between
public and private interests in the shore.
“This unanimous decision affirms the Florida Supreme Court’s
conclusion that Florida Department of Environmental Protection
implementation of the erosion control program and beach nourishment
provides a significant level of storm protection benefits for upland
properties and infrastructure, restores the recreational beach, and
achieves a reasonable balance of public and private interest in the
“Beaches have multiple benefits including protection from storm
surges, providing habitat for plants and animals, enhancing property
values, providing recreational space and providing employment,
wages, and income to the state. For every dollar invested in beach
restoration, the State receives a $6 to $8 economic return in state
taxes from the more than 27 million visitors that visit the states
To view the ruling, visit
1995: The City of Destin’s and Walton County’s Gulf of Mexico
beaches were identified by the Florida Department of Environmental
Protection (DEP) as critically eroded. The City and County then
initiated a beach restoration project covering 6.9 miles, which
includes extensive studies and project construction design.
JULY 30, 2003: The City and County applied for a Joint Coastal
Permit and Authorization to Use Sovereign Submerged Lands.
JULY 15, 2004: DEP issued a Notice of Intent to Issue the permit.
August 10, 2004 and August 30, 2004: Two groups, Save Our
Beaches, Inc. and Stop the Beach Renourishment, Inc., filed
petitions for a formal administrative hearing challenging issuance
of the permit. Stop the Beach Renourishment also filed a petition
challenging the Erosion Control Line established by the Board of
Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund in conjunction with
the proposed beach restoration project, but later amended its
petition to abandon this challenge. The Erosion Control Line
established the line between state-owned land below mean high water
and privately-owned land above mean high water.
SEPTEMBER 27, 2004: The two cases were consolidated for
JUNE 7, 2005: The administrative hearing addressed whether the
City of Destin and Walton County gave reasonable assurances that
applicable water quality standards will not be violated.
JUNE 30, 2005: The Administrative Law Judge’s recommended order
found that Destin and Walton County gave reasonable assurances that
the applicable water quality standard will not be violated, and
recommended that DEP issue the permit.
JULY 27, 2005: DEP signed a Final Order issuing the permit and on
July 28, 2005, the accompanying authorization (Final Permit) was
issued. The petitioners appealed.
APRIL 28, 2006: The First District Court of Appeal issued an
opinion disagreeing with the Department’s decision, stating that the
permit and erosion control line were invalid and that a taking of
riparian rights had occurred. The First District Court of Appeal
denied DEP's Motion for Rehearing, but certified a question of great
public importance to the Florida Supreme Court. The Department
requested that the Florida Supreme Court grant discretionary review
of the First District Court of Appeal's decision, based on the
certified question and conflict with another Florida Supreme Court
APRIL 19, 2007: The Florida Supreme Court accepted discretionary
review of the district court’s decision, and the case was fully
briefed, with oral argument held on April 14, 2007.
SEPTEMBER 29, 2008: The Florida Supreme Court issued an Opinion
holding that the Beach and Shore Preservation Act achieves a
reasonable balance between public and private interests. Further,
the Act, on its face, does not unconstitutionally deprive upland
owners of property rights without just compensation when the state
is restoring beaches under the Act.
OCTOBER 14, 2008: Respondent Stop the Beach Renourishment, Inc.
filed a motion with the Florida Supreme Court for rehearing.
DECEMBER 18, 2008: The Florida Supreme Court issued an order
denying the motion for rehearing.
MARCH 13, 2009: Stop the Beach Nourishment, Inc. filed a petition
of writ of certiorari with the United States Supreme Court.
JUNE 15, 2009: The Unites States Supreme Court granted the
petition for certiorari.
AUGUST 13, 2009: Stop the Beach Nourishment, Inc. filed its
SEPTEMBER 28, 2009: DEP and Walton County/City of Destin filed
their briefs in opposition.
SEPTEMBER 28, 2009: The Supreme Court scheduled oral argument for
Wednesday, December 2, 2009.
DECEMBER 2, 2009: Oral argument.
JUNE 17, 2010: The Unites States Supreme Court issued a unanimous
Opinion concluding that the Florida Supreme Court did not take
private property without just compensation in violation of the
United States Constitution in its ruling governing the restoration
of our beaches.