Expect new rules for boaters and businesses at Crab Island.

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DESTIN, Fla. (WMBB)-Officials are cracking down on what is allowed at a Destin hotspot. Boaters and businesses at Crab Island should expect changes.

Safety is the main priority here at Crab Island and officials say that over the years, activities at Crab Island have gotten out of hand. Now, Okaloosa County Commissioners have decided it’s time for new rules and regulations.

Back in the day, the sandy, shallow spot was a family-oriented gathering spot but, now the atmosphere has changed.

“Too much playfulness on the crab island,” described Kelly Windes, Okaloosa County Commissioner.

Windes compared it to the “Wild Wild West” or a carnival.

“It was entirely too festive,” said Windes. “The locals thought it was giving Destin a black eye.”

Officials are working on reigning in the activities to make Crab Island a premier destination once again; starting with cracking down on the vendors.

“They just overdid it and the citizens got tired of it and they want some kind of an ordinance,” reasoned Windes.

The first change will be, no more overnight anchoring at Crab Island. All floating structures and businesses will have to leave each evening.

Currently, there are 11 floating structures and 20 additional vendors who operate. Most of them are not happy about the new rules.

“What’s the old saying, nothings secure expect change. So things are always changing they’ve got to roll with the punch and do something else,” said Windes.

Due to environmental damages that have happened, a few of the major changes include no floating structures in 2021. Officials will also reduce the number of vendors allowed to operate.

For the public though, as long as they use Crab Island for recreational use, all remains the same.

These rules and regulations will go into effect at the start of the 2020 season and some will follow the year after.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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