Santa Barbara County will be shutting down all Isla Vista beaches on April 4 and 5 in an effort to deter people from gathering on the beach during the first weekend of spring quarter, when Deltopia is typically held.
The Santa Barbara County Community Services Department said in a press release sent out Tuesday afternoon that the beaches were being closed “due to the potential for a “Floatopia” event” this weekend.
Floatopia, which was last held in Isla Vista in 2009, was Deltopia’s predecessor; the celebration was held on I.V.’s beaches instead of Del Playa Drive like Deltopia is.
“Following the Floatopia event of 2009, the beaches at Isla Vista were left strewn with trash and debris, including human waste,” the county wrote in the press release. “This large scale event with thousands of participants had no provision for the health and well-being of the public, including no facilities for human sanitation or refuse collection.
According to a Daily Nexus article from a few days after the 2009 Floatopia, more than 12,000 people crowded the beaches, leaving “Thousands of beer cans, rafts and towels” behind.
Santa Barbara County has closed I.V. beaches multiple times since 2010 in an effort to deter people from similarly gathering in large numbers, according to the press release.
“The Floatopia event planned for April 4, 2020 is not a sanctioned event and there are no approved permits issued,” the county wrote.
According to the press release, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office will be enforcing the closure.
Spencer Brandt, president of the Isla Vista Community Services District, said in a message that it was important for I.V. residents to take Governor Gavin Newsom’s stay-at-home order and social distancing seriously.
“We are in the midst of an unprecedented public health crisis, so now is not the time for us to go out — whether to visit our friends, or the beach,” Brandt said.