“Leave nothing but footprints,” is akin to the Golden Rule for nature. The attendees of Sunday’s event at Chic’s Beach failed miserably at following it.
Nearby residents awoke on Memorial Day with the trash from the previous day’s event covering the beach: floats, collapsible canopies, boogie boards, bottles and more.
On a normal weekend, public works employees collect about a ton of trash from the area. This weekend, they collected 10 tons — 20,000 pounds.
Virginia Beach spokesperson Drew Lankford told CNN the event was not city-sponsored or sanctioned. The event began with a Facebook invite and spread through word of mouth.
“If youve been to a Floatopia then ‘ya know what its all about,” read the invite. “Bring your own beverage in a cup/coozie/cooler, and of course-FLOATS!!!!”
CNN has reached out to one of the event organizers but has not yet received a response.
“Most of us have never heard of it,” Lankford said.
Now, they have.
“We’re happy to have people come down there and enjoy the beach and have a good time,” Lankford said. He even said had he known about it, he’d have probably gone out there to partake.
But it’s a public beach and they should have cleaned up after themselves.
“It’s not fair, particularly to the people that live right there,” he said.
Barry Preston, who lives at the beach, said it’s not the first time they’ve had issues with the event.
The community is meeting later this week to discuss the trash partygoers left behind.
CORRECTION: This article has been updated with the correct number of tons of trash that were left on the beach.