‘Never Again': Floatopia Trashes Miami Beach

The Floatopia organizer, who has remained anonymous, implied on Facebook he or she will not enable the event in the future

It may mean the end for Floatopia after attendees littered Miami Beach this weekend with enough trash to fill nine giant dumpsters, city officials said.

The annual event drew 100,000 people with rafts and inner tubes to South Florida on Saturday. According to its website, Floatopia was founded in 2012 "to provide something different to Miami and its amazing people."

What the people provided to Miami, however, were the remnants of their party. From South Point to 10th Street, the beach was cluttered with floats and debris. The city said it took hours to haul it all away, filling nine oversized dumpsters with trash.

"Particularly large floats. They were huge that people brought and they were all over the beach. So because they ran because of the rain, they didn't take the time to pick up after themselves," said City Manager Jimmy Morales.

Commissioner Michael Grieco expressed his frustration on Facebook.

"This is an absolute travesty and this is me making a commitment to everyone that is going to watch this. Floatopia will never happen in Miami Beach again," he wrote.

Mayor Philip Levine also took to social media, slamming Floatopia attendees who failed to clean up after themselves. The mayor said he planned to work with the commission to "STOP this event from happening on our beaches going forward."

Levine posted a photo of Floatopia on Facebook with the words "never again." [[376229011, C]]

Attendance at Floatopia has inflated over the years from 25,000 to 100,000. Trash wasn't the only problem this weekend; traffic and public safety were also impacted.

"You're talking about quality of life for the people who live south of 5th that were completely disrupted, fire trucks not being able to get to their rounds and all the traffic," Grieco said.

"It's not my job as a commissioner or as a human being to clean up after other human beings. It's not that complicated. Whatever you bring to the beach, you take it home with you or you consume it," he added.

On Facebook, the Floatopia organizer — who has remained anonymous — implied he or she will not enable the event in the future.

"We always believed in doing something beautiful for our community. ... Protect the beach is the only thing we ever asked. ... The level of disrespect was unimaginable. ... We refuse to be associated with this type of behavior," the organizer wrote. [[376228701, C]]

City leaders will give official recommendations about Floatopia at a meeting at the end of April.

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