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New law that could restrict beach access set to take effect this week

Starting Sunday, July 1, you'll have to pay more attention to the sand – is it wet or is it dry?

TAMPA, Fla. -- A new law that could restrict the public's access to some beaches is set to take effect July 1.

Gov. Rick Scott recently signed a bill into law, giving private property owners with beachfront property the option to allow people to use it or not.

The new law is the first of its kind in the country and goes against Florida's long-standing "customary use" policy, which states that beaches belong to the public. State officials say the law creates a process for local governments to establish customary use through the courts.

Starting July 1, you'll have to pay more attention to the sand – is it wet or is it dry?

If the sand is wet, you can use it as you please.

Credit: Mitchell, Samantha

“This law does not ‘ban’ or privatize any beach in Florida," said John Tupps, Gov. Rick Scott’s Communications Director. "If a local government wants to expand the public beach area, this bill simply outlines the legal process to accomplish that."

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