As students we not only love enjoying our beautiful beaches, but we also have the right and privilege to enjoy them. This privilege has again been stripped from us as a result of Floatopia 2009. It is nearly impossible to deny that Floatopia 2009 was destructive with its massive amounts of litter, harmful effects on marine life and hundreds of hospitalizations. Santa Barbara County has reacted in response to these damaging effects by avoiding any similar reoccurrence. In their eyes, closing our beaches is their last resort and only option for prevention. I.V. beaches have now been closed on Floatopia for two years in a row as a preventative measure. We need to find a way to get our beaches back!

[media-credit name=”Kiki Niebhur” align=”alignleft” width=”250″][/media-credit]As community members, we have a responsibility to respect our beach and our town. This year, regardless of whether beach activities take the form of Floatopia, DP-Topia or anything else, we are presented with an opportunity. We have the chance to prove to the county that we are responsible adults who respect our community, and let them know that they do not have to take such drastic actions by taking our beaches away.

The office of the External Vice President for Local Affairs would like to ask you to join and support the “Our Beach Our Town” springtime campaign by taking responsibility for our community. Help this coalition of organizations prevent the potential negative impacts of Floatopia by working to clean up after. Let’s have our fun, clean up after, keep our town beautiful and prove to the county that they will never have to take away our beaches again! By acting like responsible adults, we are showing the county that we are in fact capable of having the privilege to access our beaches anytime we want.

The county believes that they need to take extreme precautions by spending thousands of dollars on security and road closures to enforce an unnecessary beach closure, but only during huge grassroots events that attract out-of-towners. Protecting our town will be easier when there are no out-of-towners trashing every inch of it. The beaches and streets are maintained to a much higher degree during the regular quarter when huge events like these don’t take place.

We are capable of being responsible for our community when it is manageable. Keep it local, support “Our Beach Our Town” and we will be able to protect our environment and prevent future beach closures. Check out or e-mail us at for more information on how to further support this cause.