Energy & Environment

More than 13,000 pounds of trash collected at Florida beach just weeks after it reopened

The Cocoa Beach Police Department says it will be increasing its enforcement of litter laws after an influx of visitors to Florida’s newly reopened beaches brought with it a large amount of trash.

According to Florida Today, crews collected more than 13,000 pounds of garbage last weekend that was left behind by visitors at Cocoa Beach as the state continues to relax coronavirus restrictions.

The Cocoa Beach Police Department responded with an announcement over the weekend that law enforcement will be “focusing on litter violations in the days and weeks ahead in an effort to educate the public and mitigate this repulsive and disrespectful behavior.”

Cocoa Beach Police Chief Scott Rosenfeld said in a statement that the local community works “very hard to be stewards of environmental sustainability.”

“If I need to relocate 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,” he added.

The department said violators of the city’s litter law will face a fine of $250. It said parking enforcement specialists and other “eyes and ears” will also assist the department in its effort, while calling on beachgoers who witness litter offenses to contact the local office. 

The rise in trash comes just weeks after the beach was reopened in late April. Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) allowed certain beaches and parks to reopen with restrictions amid the coronavirus outbreak. 

According to Florida Today, volunteers in Brevard County have also noticed significantly more trash left behind at local beaches recently. 

A local organization, Keep Brevard Beautiful, told the paper that volunteers collected nearly 300 bags of trash at local beaches in just one weekend earlier this month.

Tags Coronavirus Ron DeSantis

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