The sun is out, the vibe is happier and, hopefully, your class schedule is lighter. Some of us are still relaxed from the much-needed break, while others are already stressed from the first week back. What better way to celebrate spring and relax by joining hoards of our peers on the beach for Floatopia? If this is how your thought process goes, I urge you to reconsider.
Last year Floatopia ravaged our beach, pillaged our ocean, raped our environment, trashed our neighborhood and plundered our students. Thousands of us crowded the beach with beer cans and rafts made of everything we could find. People pushed others down the stairs, threw bikes off the cliffs, peed in the ocean and left just about everything they brought behind. Sure it was fun, but kids got hurt, property was damaged and our beach was trashed.
The amount of urine in the ocean changed the pH enough to cause fish to die. Fish washed up on Goleta Beach for days. If you walked by any one of the entrances to the beach you know they stank. There was so much trash that it took over three days of trash pick up to get rid of it all. There were trucks full of towels that had been left behind. The lack of consideration we demonstrated for our community and beach was repulsive.
This year there have been efforts to make Floatopia less debaucherous. The county has made the alcohol ban permanent, hoping to deter party-hounds from flocking to the beach. Associated Students has worked to educate people about the damage done to the beach in years past. Students created the Facebook event Ecotopia, trying to make Floatopia-goers more environmentally conscious. Ecotopia is a mythical idea, like unicorns and leprechauns. There is no way thousands of people going to the beach at once can not harm the environment.
So I implore you, think about the environment, the safety and the cost of clean up. If that’s not enough for you, think about the alcohol ban and the time spent on the stairs just trying to get to the beach.