Less than a month after lifting restrictions and reopening to the public, over 13,000 pounds of trash was collected at Cocoa Beach last weekend.
As a result, officials are cracking down on littering, increasing enforcement, and handing out considerable fines for leaving garbage on the beach.
“As restrictions are becoming more relaxed during this pandemic, the City of Cocoa Beach is beginning to see an influx of day-trippers to our beaches, along with piles of unlawfully discarded trash in their wake,” Cocoa Beach Police Department wrote in a notice. “This will not be tolerated.”
According to Cocoa Beach PD, an officer must witness a littering offense to issue a citation.
Littering in Cocoa Beach can now cost offenders upwards of $250.
Said Cocoa Beach Chief Scott Rosenfeld in a statement:
“As restrictions are becoming more relaxed during this pandemic, the City of Cocoa Beach is beginning to see an influx of day-trippers to our beaches, along with piles of unlawfully discarded trash in their wake.
Our community works very hard to be stewards of environmental sustainability. If I need to reallocate critical resources during our peak season to combat litterers, we are no longer asking our visitors to comply with our litter laws, we expect it, and there will be consequences for offenders.”
“Parking Enforcement Specialists and other ‘eyes and ears’ will assist in this effort,” said Rosenfeld.
Volunteers with Keep Brevard Beautiful picked up “33 bags of trash from Friday beachgoers, 122 bags for Saturday and 142 for Sunday”, according to Florida Today.
“Normally there is an uptick but what we’ve seen this past weekend is way above normal. It’s equivalent to Fourth of July and Memorial Day weekend,” said Keep Brevard Beautiful deputy director Bryan Bobbitt.
Bobbitt urged beachgoers to take their trash and recyclables with them to prevent bins on the beach from overflowing.
Florida beach people – don’t be slobs. The Grim Reaper might come to find you and give you a piece of his mind.