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Beach Ambassador


Beach Ambassador programs are growing in popularity at many beaches on both coasts of the United States. With budget cuts and reduced headcount, it has become quite difficult for law enforcement to adequately cover expansive beach territory and also perform other necessary tasks elsewhere. The idea of civilian Ambassadors became popular several years ago when beach leaders at Haulover Beach in Florida decided to meld the proven techniques of Neighborhood Watch programs with the training given to private security guards.

Tampa Bay Free Beaches knew from its inception back in 2019 that a Beach Ambassador Program will be an integral part of our organization. We had 24 people sign up in 2020 and 2021 to undergo background checks without even having a dedicated beach. This will inevitably grow to meet our needs once we have a dedicated beach.

Seeing their distinctively colored hats as the volunteers walk along the sand psychologically gives the same sense of authority as a nearby police car does on a city street. One goal of the Ambassadors is to protect beach visitors from occasional troublemakers within the legal limits of our “authority.”


  • Volunteers who assume the care and mentorship of a particular beach or beaches.
  • Committed to working within the law and communicate simple standards of etiquette and behavior to the beach goers so that no one person or group of people can ruin a positive beach experience of others.
  • Diplomats who work to ensure the trust and respect of beach visitors by being helpful when needed and non-intrusive as much as possible. While we watch out for those occasional individuals who may spoil the beach experience for others. (In practice, far more time is spent on providing information and assisting beach users.)
  • Represent the Beach Ambassador program when on the beach.


  • To preserve and maintain the environmental quality and safety of the beach, and to encourage others to do the same.
  • To actively watch for those individuals who, whether through ignorance or intent, violate the accepted standards of behavior on the beach, then take prudent, restrained and legally-allowed action to cause such people to change their offending behavior while at the beach.
  • To be fair and impartial, and neither practice, nor allow, any discrimination based on considerations such as disability, gender, race, ethnicity, creed, or sexual orientation.
  • To respect the prerogatives of, and to assist, and not hinder, legally sanctioned authorities such as police officers, lifeguards, and other professional public service officers.


A Beach Walk is the method used by Beach Ambassadors to deter crime and report incidents and other problems. Periodically, Ambassadors will walk the sands, pavilions, trails, and parking lot, and then collaborate with their Ambassador Team Leader, with law enforcement, with neighborhood associations, and with county park personnel to make sure that any observed problems receive a prompt and effective response.

These Beach Walks serve several other useful purposes:

  • By being deliberately visible on the beach, Ambassadors send a message to those on the beach that inappropriate behavior and crime will not be tolerated. Additionally, beach goers begin to feel a sense of safety knowing that someone cares and is concerned about the safety and security of the area.
  • Ambassadors will report health, safety, and environmental problems to the appropriate authorities. They are in the best position to notice and report graffiti and other vandalism, sick or wounded wildlife, or injured or sick beach goers who may need immediate medical attention.
  • Ambassadors promote positive communication and relationships within a beach community. Beach Walks provide an avenue for beach regulars to get to know one another and build a sense of community.


  • The Tampa Bay Free Beach Board of Directors approves all Beach Ambassador appointments once the applicant completes the required training course and background check. The Board may revoke the Ambassador status of anyone who intentionally violates these standards, or otherwise shows their unsuitability after selection.
  • Once approved, Beach Ambassadors carry a distinctive form of identification: a hat with logo, a colored shirt, or a name medallion, which will make them more easily visible on the beach should a beach goer have a problem or need a question answered. Clear recognition of the presence of Beach Ambassadors on the beach can in itself go a long way toward maintaining a friendly family atmosphere at the beach.


  • Ambassadors work in teams with one person designated to carry trash bags and Beach and Hiking Etiquette sheets to hand out to anyone interested among the beach goers. Optionally, a brochure describing the Beach Ambassador program may also be distributed to interested persons.
  1. Beach and Hiking Etiquette
  2. Beach Safety Tips
  3. Join the Beach Ambassador Program
  4. Trash and Recycle Bags
  5. Ambassador Business Cards
Wear your Beach Ambassador hat!
Distribute Business cards to those who are interested.

A blue hat with black text Description automatically generated

Tampa Bay Free Beaches
Post Office Box 951
Palm Harbor, FL 34682


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