Here is a copy of an email I sent to the person in charge of securing bids for rentals at Henderson Beach.
My name is Karin Chipman. I am a resident of Destin. I am writing to express my disappointment in your recent decision to allow rental chairs and watercraft rentals at Henderson Beach.
Every year we purchase an annual pass. We do so to avoid the commercialization that has overtaken every other beach in the area. Simply put, there is nowhere else in the city for a family to go without having to dodge Jet Skis coming in and out of the water or weaving in and out of rental chairs other than Henderson Beach.
There are many condos and hotels in the area that do not have beach access. Your decision will affect those visitors as well as the locals.
My understanding of the purpose of a state park is to maintain stretches of land to be enjoyed by everyone. The decision to allow beach rentals tells of a different purpose. It makes it appear as if the only people you are interested in serving are the people who can afford the high price of the rentals.
Should enjoyment by everyone not come before the bottom line? If the park is in need of more money to cover its operating cost then a modest increase in the admission price would be preferable to isolating the people who have grown accustomed to having one place to go to enjoy a pristine beach.
I sincerely hope that you will reconsider your decision. Thank you for your time.