While I am not a current student at UCSB, and I am not even a frequent reader of the Nexus, I felt compelled to write you regarding this weekend’s Floatopia event. It sounds like a great, debaucherous event that harkens back to the days of pits and fireworks at West Beach back in the ’90s on Independence Day.
However, having been a resident and local surfer for more than 30 years in Santa Barbara, I am disgusted by the blatant disregard for our beaches and the aftermath that followed this event. My family and I spent hours picking up towels, sunglasses, clothing, food containers, plastic wrappers, floating devices, a skateboard and hundreds of bottles and cans, among other things, as they rolled back and forth across the beach at high tide. I find it sad that while this event was promoted and advertised via Facebook and other networking sites and the party went off with great energy and enthusiasm with apparently thousands participating, there was seemingly no concern about what an event like this would do to the community or the environment after the last beer was cracked.
I have seen dozens of Nexus articles about saving the environment, stopping offshore drilling, clean energy alternatives, etc., over the years, but for the student body to trash their own TEMPORARY backyard is disturbing. And the hypocrisy is laughable. This lack of intelligence is exactly why this event will be attacked by community leaders and shut down in the future by the authorities and everyone will have to figure out where next to booze up and trash our town. This was a major screw-up by the students and I hope that future events will be equally fun, but significantly more thought out, if they’re even allowed to happen at all.