Dog Beach is scheduled to have new signs next month to remind pet owners to pick up after their pets and monitor their behavior.
“We need to get dog owners to get their pets to play nicer. The signs will remind dog owners to pick up after their dogs,” said Karen Gray, executive director of the Friends of Jupiter Beach.
The idea for the new signs and boxes that hold free plastic bags for owners to pick up dog refuse was prompted last fall when complaints increased about dogs getting too rowdy.
FJB volunteers printed the beach rules on cards. They placed them in local homeowners associations, veterinarian offices, pet stores, and dog day care centers. A “Call to Action” was held in October that included FJB volunteers manning nine crossovers during the day.
FJB volunteers handed out the dog beach rules and took a survey of dog owners.
Many dog owners said they were unaware of the rules. FJB plans another “Call to Action” in February, said Gray, a Jupiter resident.
FJB will pay for about 18 new signs on the beach with boxes for the plastic bags on the beach. The town will pay for about 30 more signs and boxes along the sidewalk.
The signs will read: “Take a bag, Just in case; Control your dog, Leave no trace.” The signs will also warn that leaving dog refuse on the beach is an offense punishable by a fine.
Bids are out and the price has not been determined, said Russ Ruskay, the town’s business development director.
“Many of the current signs are old and people can’t read them. Everything is going to look brand new when we are finished,” Gray said.
The non-profit volunteer group organizes monthly Saturday morning cleanups on the 3-mile beach from Marcinski Road north to the southern end of Carlin Park. FJB provides bags, gloves and breakfast.
Since they started recording the amount of of trash collected in 2006, the 5,000-member organization has collected about 65,000 pounds of everything from bottles to cigarette butts to dentures.
In exchange, the county allows dogs to be brought onto that section of the beach.
Dog owners can let their dogs off their leashes as long as their pets are under their voice control. During sea turtle nesting season — which runs from March 1 to Oct. 31 — all dogs must be on leashes after dusk so they don’t harm turtle nests.
Jupiter police patrol Dog Beach on foot, on ATVs and in patrol cars on weekends from 10-a.m. - 6 p.m. and do normal patrolling at the beach during the week, said Jupiter Police Spokesperson Kristin Rightler.
“The beach is a high priority because of the heavy use by our residents and visitors,” said Rightler.
For information, go to friendsofjupiterbeach.org. The next beach cleanup is Jan. 7.
Friends of Jupiter Beach
400,000: Free plastic bags provided by Friends annually
65,000: Pounds of trash collected since 1994
1994: Year Friends of Jupiter Beach started beach cleanups
29: Number of wooden beach crossovers to beach in Friends’ cleanup area
2.5 miles: Distance of Dog Beach cleaned monthly by volunteers