The student news site of Park Vista Community High School

The Cobra Chronicle

Spring break tourists to south Florida cause chaos

The+masses+of+visitors+to+Miami+Beach+left+loads+of+trash+scattered+on+the+shore%2C+only+for+it+to+be+possibly+consumed+by+the+birds+circling+the+garbage.
The masses of visitors to Miami Beach left loads of trash scattered on the shore, only for it to be possibly consumed by the birds circling the garbage.

The masses of visitors to Miami Beach left loads of trash scattered on the shore, only for it to be possibly consumed by the birds circling the garbage.

Photo courtesy of change.org

Photo courtesy of change.org

The masses of visitors to Miami Beach left loads of trash scattered on the shore, only for it to be possibly consumed by the birds circling the garbage.

Nicole Chamberlain, Business and Advertising Manager

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






As a Floridian who lives on the coast, I tend to call the ocean my home. I have spent many days, afternoons and nights lying on the warm sand, or swimming in the Atlantic. It is not surprising that south Florida is a prime destination for tourists, in particular, college students, to travel to for spring break. What is shocking, however, is the disregard these tourists have for the environment in which they decide to party. Every year, pictures go viral on Facebook of the mess that is left on the shores of Panama City Beach and South Beach, but nothing ever changes.

According to Project Know, 40 percent of college students travel abroad for their spring break plans, and approximately $1 billion is spent on these vacations, most of which, are spent on “alcohol and drugs.” In the Instagram photos studied by Project Know, Orlando, Miami and Panama City Beach are all among the top 10 spring break destinations, but they are also among the top 10 with the highest amount of alcohol and drug usage. This research speaks volumes about the devastation and chaos that occurs every year in Florida, and each year, it appears to get worse.

“The impact tourists have on the environment is a lot like the impact locals can have on the environment, both groups can leave plastic in the ocean or wrappers in the sand, but tourists can harm the environment to a much larger degree” said Dupont.

In order to counter the chaos that ensues on Miami Beach during the break, the mayor of Miami placed a ban on alcohol consumption on the beach and  prohibited the use of loudspeakers, coolers, glass containers and tents on the beach. Nonetheless, the estimated 5,000 visitors to Miami in the first weekend of March disregarded these new rules, resulting in the arrest of about 35 people in one weekend. The city also launched the “Keep Miami Beach Clean” campaign, complete with its very own hashtag (#KEEPMBCLEAN) in order to spread awareness of maintaining a clean beach environment. But, in one instance, the city was forced to shut down Ocean Drive for five blocks, in order for police to clear the party-goers’ litter, which all included the previously mentioned banned items.

Other areas of Florida experienced similar troubles, despite those cities, such as Orange Beach and Gulf Shores, also placing bans on alcohol consumption and other unruly behaviors. After more than a staggering 1,000 arrests were made by both cities last year during the spring break period, the police department is instituting a zero-tolerance policy this season. Daytona Beach has arrested 56 people since March 4, but is is offering an alternative to its spring break law-breakers: participate in cleaning the beach, or be arrested for consuming alcohol on the beach.

“Small commitments made by these seaside communities, which include other precautions such as placing recycling bins on the beach every 50 feet, not only help the local economy, but sustain the environment as well,” said senior and co-president of Green Space Matthew Whitman.

The amount of disrespect for the law in all of these cases is unsettling. It takes very little effort and time to pick up a piece of trash on the shore, and place it into a garbage bin. There is no excuse for leaving waste in the sand. Many of these tourists do not realize that their trash can end up in the ocean, or end up digested by a marine animal. Plenty of other places exist where alcohol can be consumed legally; the beach is not one of those places. It is disheartening that Florida cities must take such strong efforts to reduce the disaster caused by spring breakers.

“Because the tourists are not at home, they tend to have a much more blase attitude towards picking up after themselves,” said senior and co-president of Green Space Stephan Dupont.

Even here closer to home, tons of tourists made the trip down to local hot spots such as Peanut Island, Deerfield Beach and Delray Beach. Fortunately enough, Palm Beach County experiences less of the effects from wild college partiers, but residents remain very aware of the damage beach littering can have on the marine environment.

To learn more visit http://www.projectknow.com/ or http://www.projectknow.com/discover/springbreak-intoxicated/.

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Spring break tourists to south Florida cause chaos

    Opinion

    Curse of this century

  • Spring break tourists to south Florida cause chaos

    Opinion

    Dying with dignity – Physician-assisted suicide in the U.S.

  • Spring break tourists to south Florida cause chaos

    Sports

    John Smith awarded Player of the Week by Miami Dolphins

  • Spring break tourists to south Florida cause chaos

    Sports

    Weekly football game preview

  • Spring break tourists to south Florida cause chaos

    Entertainment

    Olivia Holt – Generous single

  • Spring break tourists to south Florida cause chaos

    Opinion

    Curse of this century

  • Video

    “Mini Elvis” Matt Stone performs at Backstreets

  • Video

    Students welcome new cobra statue

  • Spring break tourists to south Florida cause chaos

    Entertainment

    “Sriracha” song review

  • Spring break tourists to south Florida cause chaos

    Entertainment

    Family-friendly flicks

The student news site of Park Vista Community High School
Spring break tourists to south Florida cause chaos