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FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Spring Break 2017 is in full swing in South Florida.
On Fort Lauderdale Beach near Las Olas Blvd., police have a beefed up presence. At beach entrances officers explain to students that alcohol and glass are not allowed on the sand.
They also have extra trash and recycling bins all over the beach. A couple miles north, however, it’s a very different picture.
There are no police patrols in that stretch of beach, much if it is semi-private.
Garbage mixed with sand filled the area behind the Ocean Sky Resort on the Galt Ocean Mile in Fort Lauderdale Friday morning.
“Aluminum cans, tarps, plastic bags, good containers, glass bottles, everything,” said Jane Fawcett with SOS Clean Up.
This comes after a big spring break party on the beach Thursday night. Lisa Miceli from SOS Ocean Clean Up was horrified when she saw the mess left behind.
“It looked like Tortuga. I just started crying. I’m going to cry right now because this is very emotional that it’s happening in Fort Lauderdale,” said Miceli.
She put out a call for help to get the trash picked up and, in all, volunteers bagged more than 850 pounds of junk and that did not include plastic.
A makeshift slip and slide was left partially buried in sand. It’s something that’s dangerous for sea life. Spring breakers said, at one point, garbage was flying all over the place.
“It’s kind of ridiculous. I mean this is such a nice beach and everyone was absolutely flinging trash everywhere,” said spring breaker Whitney Gaither.
“It’s a very disturbing scene. It’s completely unacceptable,” said Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler.
Mayor Seiler is angry about the mess. He said spring breakers should clean up after themselves but, in a certain area of the beach, he said resorts and condos are ultimately responsible for keeping their area clean.
“We’ve indicated to them not only do they need to maintain this beach in a more clean, pristine manor. They also need to make sure they have garbage cans out there, recycling bins out there,” said Seiler.
A city spokesman said Code Enforcement officers paid a visit to the area, reminding hotels they must keep the beach clean or face citations. They’ll be checking frequently used to make sure the beaches are clean and ready for visitors and that trash is not making its way into the ocean.