While increased police presence successfully prevented the occurence of a possible Floatopia this past weekend, the county may decide to prevent beach access again this weekend.The Santa Barbara County Parks Dept. is currently monitoring online event listings for Floatopia. Should event attendance spike, officials say they are prepared to bar access to Isla Vista beaches once again. On Saturday and Sunday, the Isla Vista Foot Patrol had about 40 extra officers patrolling Del Playa Drive and campus.
The Santa Barbara County Parks Dept. declared the closure last week an effort to protect the coastline from the level of damage caused by the 2009 Floatopia festivities.
According to IVFP Lt. Ray Vuillemainroy, the police presence did deter students from celebrating on the beaches.
“People were expecting the closure, so we had very few violators and people were respectful of law enforcement,” Vuillemainroy said. “I appreciate the student support and that residents respected the barricade.”
In 2009, pollution from the celebration created widespread environmental damage and cost the county over $20,000 to clean up. Vuillemainroy said officials will enforce similar blockades throughout the quarter if the event is rescheduled for a later date.
“As long as they say there is going to be a Floatopia, then we will take the appropriate measures,” Vuillemainroy said.