Breezy Point, MD – Beginning Thursday, Aug. 22, the consumption of alcohol will be prohibited at Breezy Point Beach, in response to multiple incidents and high quantity of litter from alcohol containers.
The Calvert County Commissioners unanimously passed the resolution prohibiting the substance on the beach after a Breezy Point task force was created this summer in response to many issues facing the beach and its effect on the surrounding community. Commissioner Mike Hart [R-district 1] spoke in favor of the resolution, stating that it will “go a long way,” and citing the effectiveness of a similar ban at Point Lookout in St. Mary’s County.
The restriction of alcohol will only apply to the beach. Individuals renting campsites will still be permitted to consume alcohol, but will be restricted to the camp area of the park.
Members of the task force and Commissioner President Tim Hutchins [R-district 2] sat down with reporters prior to the proposal and vote on the resolution, to explain the actions being taken to “improve the intake flow” of traffic into the park, combat glass bottles and litter left on the beach, and reduce the need for DUI checkpoints and sheriff’s office presence at the beach.
With patrons “queuing up as early as midnight,” Hutchins expressed the immediate need of the task force to address the severe traffic clogging the surrounding neighborhoods. The first action taken by the committee and the park was to open up both sides of the gate house in the mornings, allowing two lanes of entry to the beach.
This, in addition to the acceptance of credit cards, were two of the first things fixes implemented by the task force. Calvert County Parks and Rec Director, Shannon Nazzal, was also a part of the task force. She explained that the park also began directing patrons away from the gatehouse before 6 a.m., instead queuing them up on Tobacco Rd. where they’d impact the community much less.
The park uses off-duty sheriff’s deputies,” working in shifts to patrol the area.” Nazzal explained that the morning queue change was implemented a few weeks prior to the July meeting and that the park and community already began seeing a change in the “impact” the traffic had on the surrounding area.
Breezy Point’s busiest days are tied to two summer holidays, the 4th of July and Labor Day. With the park’s new initiatives happening after the former holiday, Labor Day will be a good test of the efficacy of the measures taken by the task force affirmed Nazzal. The director stated that using data from the year prior, the task force will be able to see if they need to take further steps at the beach or if the ones they have taken satisfy their goals.
The task force that involved county departments ranging from planning and zoning to the sheriff’s office, and the team of county workers looked at long-term goals for the park in addition to those already in effect in the short-term.
One of the major projects Nazzal sees coming for Breezy Point would be a proper parking lot, replacing the “weather dependent,” primarily grass, parking lot that currently serves the beach. The director for parks and rec explained that adding consistency with a paved lot will allow the park to better plan and help with future goals like online ticket sales.
For more information on the beach visit their website here.
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