There are no currently-known threats to eliminate nude sunbathing at either Apollo or Playalinda Naturist beaches. But this has not always been the case! CFN has fought and overcome several attempts to close the clothing optional areas at both Apollo and Playalinda beaches over the years.
In 1990 newly appointed Canaveral National Seashore Superintendent Wendell Simpson brought "his own personal agenda" to rid our beaches of Naturist activities. In 1994 Randy Ball (R-Titusville) was elected to the Florida State Legislature and proudly announced on official state stationery he "this country runs and operates on the Judeo-Christian ethic that comes out of the Bible. In 1995 Simpson and Ball determined to eliminate Brevard County nude beaches such as Playalinda.
In 1995 the Brevard County Commissioners passed a county ordinance prohibiting public nudity "for the purpose of protecting societal order and morality and suppressing the adverse secondary effects that public nudity generates... to protect and preserve the health, safety and welfare of the people of the county by prohibiting any person from... appearing nude in a public place... (Brevard County Ordinance 95-21). Access to the south end of the Canaveral National Seashore is through Brevard County and includes Playalinda beach.
Thus began a multi-year and multi-million dollar tax spend to try to rid Brevard County of its historic nude beach. The county almost bankrupted itself repeatedly trying to arrest and prosecute protesting Naturists to drive home their point. In every case the courts dismissed the charges because the nudity was not accompanied by “lewd or lascivious behavior” which Florida courts had always held as a requirement for declaring nudity illegal.
Naturists, led by Central Florida Naturists members and supporters responded in force with protests, marches and boycotts. For nearly five years we protested, formed business boycotts, lobbied any law group that would listen, generated countless news stories and yes, were even arrested and carried off in handcuffs.
National News brought our plight to the entire nation's attention. The plight of Florida nude sunbathing even found its way to the floor of the US Congress as Florida Representative Dave Weldon (R-Palm Bay) slipped an unprecedented restriction into law through a National Park Service funding bill that prohibits the Park Service from spending any money on beach signage specifically at Playalinda beach Florida. This restriction continues in force to this date.
Finally, in 2000 an agreement brokered by Naturist Action Committee (NAC) with CFN and the National Park Service established the truce that continues to today. Nude sun bathing is permitted and thrives at both Apollo and Playalinda beaches on the Canaveral National Seashore.
The Brevard County prohibition against nudity is still on the books but not enforced in National Parks. Apollo and Playalinda beaches continue to be patrolled by National Parks Services Rangers who will not arrest nude sun bathers unless they exhibit lewd or lascivious behavior (sexual activities).
Brevard County has stopped patrolling Playalinda Beach. The business community that caught most of the unintended consequences of this political campaign certainly does not wish to see the return of these inquisition tactics which would most certainly guarantee massive new rounds of protests and boycotts from the proliferation of the many new and well-organized naturist organizations.
Read more about the timeline of this dark period in our beaches' histories using this link.
There is no Federal Law concerning nudity. Apollo and Playalinda Beaches are on the Canaveral National Seashore (CNS), which is part of the National Park Service. The Park Rangers do not enforce State or local anti-nudity laws. They do, however have the ability to enforce ordinances related to disturbing the peace, lewd (sexual) conduct and protecting public safety. Please behave accordingly on our beaches.
Two of America's largest and most popular Clothing Optional beaches are situated on Federal Lands which even employ Federally contracted lifeguards to watch over the sometimes thousands of daily visitors. Gunnison Beach at Sandy Hook near Highlands NJ and Haulover Beach near Bal Harbor FL are shining examples of what we would like to see all of America's Clothing Optional beaches become.
There have been no recent reports of Naturists being cited by Law Enforcement for being naked in the designated Clothing Optional areas of these beaches. There HAVE been arrests of people having sex or masturbating in these beach areas just as there have been arrests for the sames types of activities on textile-only beaches.
Let's all do our part to make sure we do not violate the laws as listed above. If you see something, SPEAK UP and let violators know it is improper, and report them to the Park Police if necessary.
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Central Florida Naturists