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Florida Isn't Doing Enough to Protect Its Beaches, Surfrider Study Says

Florida's 800-plus miles of beaches are by far the state's top tourist attraction. They draw more visitors than all U.S. theme parks and national parks combined. More than 40 percent of tourists head to Florida for its beaches, and beach tourism brings in more than $55 billion in annual sales annually. So it's hard to overstate the importance of the sandy shores.

But according to a new report, Florida isn't doing nearly enough to protect its most important resource from erosion and climate change. The state scored a D on the 2018 State of the Beach Report Card created by the nonprofit Surfrider Foundation.

"Increasingly, coastal development regulations are haphazardly implemented because decision-makers have created loopholes that negate major protective policies," the report says. "Despite South Florida experiencing increasingly regular flooding events, there are no repetitive food loss policies and there is no statewide sea level rise planning."

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