The Santa Barbara County Parks Department has announced that the beaches at Isla Vista will be closed due to the potential for a “Floatopia” event the weekend of April 2-3, 2011. The closure is being declared to prevent a re-occurrence of the conditions that resulted from the 2009 Floatopia. The Santa Barbara County Code (Section 26-11) authorizes the Parks Department to close any County recreation area including beaches.
Following the Floatopia event of 2009, the beaches at Isla Vista were left strewn with trash and debris, including human waste. 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. The County of Santa Barbara, therefore took action to close the Isla Vista beaches for a similar event in 2010.
The Floatopia event planned for the weekend of April 2-3, 2011 is not a sanctioned event and there are no approved permits issued. As such, the County Parks Department will declare the Isla Vista beaches closed to public entry to protect public health and safety and to protect the beach from excessive waste and litter. The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department will enforce the closure.