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Florida Coastal Management Program

The Florida Coastal Management Program is based on a network of agencies implementing 24 statutes that protect and enhance the state's natural, cultural and economic coastal resources.

The program's goal is to coordinate local, state and federal agency activities using existing laws to ensure that Florida's coast is as valuable to future generations as it is today. 

FCMP Spotlight

Stay Out of the Grip of the Rip This Summer

A day at Florida's beaches is a wonderful experience - white sandy beaches, clear waters and plenty of sunshine -- but it's important to remember there are also natural hazards that may exist at Florida's picturesque coastlines.

Among them are rip currents. Rip currents are currents of water flowing straight out from beaches to open water. They typically extend from near the shoreline, through the surf zone and past the line of breaking waves. Rip Current speeds can quickly become dangerous under certain wave, tide, and beach conditions and speeds can exceed 5 mph (faster than an Olympic swimmer!).

If you're caught in a rip current, it is important for you to stay calm. If you can, swim along the shore until you escape the current's pull. When you have escaped the pull, swim at an angle away from the current towards the shore. If you can't reach the shore, relax, face the shore, and call or wave for assistance.

According to the NOAA National Weather Service (NWS), rip currents account for 80% of rescues performed by surf beach lifeguards.

In an effort to increase awareness of rip currents, and what visitors to our pristine beaches can do if they or someone else gets caught in one, FCMP distributes comprehensive signs and other educational materials that were developed through the combined efforts of the NOAA and the U.S. Lifesaving Association. You can learn more about these efforts here.


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