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Virginia Locals Furious After Beach Is Turned into Trash Heap by Memorial Day Revelers

  • May 29, 2019
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Members of the Virginia Beach community are calling on their local locals and visitors to “do better” after beachgoers left 10 tons of trash on the beach on Memorial Day.

Hundreds celebrated the holiday at Chic’s Beach in Virginia Beach for an annual event called “Floatopia,” but city leaders and resident are very disappointed in attendees in the aftermath of the event. The miles of trash left behind was cleaned up by a crew of only nine people from Virginia Public Works.

A typical weekend at the beach usually results in about one ton of trash, according to local news outlet Wavy-TV.

“The thing that amazes me is, one: they did it as fast as they did; and two: they got 10 tons,” Drew Lankford of Virginia Public Works told local news station WCNC, speaking about the crew that gathered the trash. “In fact, when they said 10 tons. I said repeat that. You got 10 tons of trash? That’s a lot of trash!”

Lankford said that the clean-up crew arrived at 6:30 a.m. on Tuesday, and finished clearing the trash around 9:15 a.m.

He went on to tell the station that beachgoers left behind “almost every kind of trash you can think of,” including “food wrappers, cans, bottles, pieces of floats, towels, everything.”

Facebook/Councilman Michael Berlucchi

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“It was almost like they saw a tornado coming and everybody just got up and ran for safety and left everything there,” he said.

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Floatopia is an unofficial event organized on social media, so there aren’t organization leaders to hold accountable, Lankford said. He added that while this isn’t the only time the beach has been left messy after an event, Memorial Day 2019 left the worst mess he’s seen.

City Councilman Michael Berlucchi was so disgusted by the mess he shared a shocking picture of the event’s aftermath on his Facebook page, saying “we can do better than this!”

“I was disappointed to wake up this morning to see images of trash all over our beautiful Chesapeake Bay beach [which locals call Chic’s] after Sunday’s festivities. We can do better than this! Let’s work together to keep our City beautiful and clean.”

Echoing his shock, Deputy City Manager Tom Leahy released a statement on Tuesday, saying that it was disappointing to see the state of the beach after the event.

“The City takes great pride in keeping our beaches clean, so we were disappointed to see the condition Chic’s Beach was left in following an unpermitted event called Floatopia,” he said.

“However, thanks to the swift and thorough work of our Beach Operations crew, the beach is once again clean and more than 10 tons of trash and debris has been cleared away. Our sincere thanks goes out to those citizens who helped pitch in to clean up as well.”

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A Facebook user uploaded a video of the aftermath, showing heaps of full trash bags, deflated floats, blankets, towels and beach chairs littering the beach.

Another Twitter user posted photos of the litter-strewn beach, saying “shame on you.”


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