MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. — Beaches spanning from Palm Beach County to the Treasure Coast are closed for the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
Martin County beaches were quiet Friday morning, as law enforcement officers patrolled public beaches to make sure people follow the restrictions.
The only people allowed on the beach have access through a private entry, either at their own homes or through a hotel and resort access.
Martin County deputies will be on duty to make sure that does not change throughout the weekend.
“The parks and recreation department, the county, has closed all the gates. They’ve closed their parks. What they’ve asked us to do it just patrol them to make sure no one is on the parks or on the beaches.”
Captain Ryan Grimsdale says deputies are not out to make arrests but educate anyone who comes by the beaches about other places they can go to.
Friday, that included the boat ramps and sandbars, which were already getting a lot of visitors.
“We anticipate the waterways will be busy. We want people to enjoy the waterways safely. We do have our staff reallocated to those areas so we can maintain their safety,” Grimsdale said.
Harry MacArthur owns Harry and the Natives restaurant near Bridge Road and U.S 1 in Hobe Sound. He says on the weekends, 15% to 20% of his business comes from beach traffic.
He is hopeful his beach crowd will still dine-in, despite the beaches being closed.
He has scaled back on some of his holiday plans as a result of the beach closures, such as canceling a 4th of July band.
“You kind of play it by minute on this COVID-19 thing. Everything changed in the last 90 days. We can’t plan anything anymore,” MacArthur said.
But he’s remaining positive and hopeful that any impacts will be minimal.
“People are pretty bored. They still want to get out,” MacArthur said. “Just let’s have fun and keep going.”