Tourism Conflict at Canaveral National Seashore: Nudism, Law and Space


  • Lary M Dilsaver


On May 18, 1995, Brevard County, Florida, one of two counties containing Canaveral National Seashore, passed ordinance 95-21 prohibiting public nudity. The law was aimed specifically at the national seashore, a unit of the national park system that draws 1.4 million visitors per year. This followed a publicity campaign by the Christian Coalition of Florida and others. Within months, members of several naturist societies tested the ordinance, were arrested by county deputies, and filed a lawsuit against both Brevard County and the National Park Service. Thus ended an uneasy truce between the federal agency and naturists that attempted to use spatial segregation to minimize conflicts between parties visiting the public beach (Newkirk 1999).