Did a Florida beach get trashed after leaders eased COVID-19 restrictions?

More people back on the beaches has led to more litter at Cocoa Beach.

May 19, 2020
Category: Fact-Checking

I am feeling cooped up. And, seemingly adding insult to injury, I live about 10 minutes from the beach.

While I’m not planning to rush down to the sand, plenty of folks in Florida are. And, according to some viral photos, they’ve been leaving behind a lot of trash.

“Beachgoers trash Florida beaches with 13,000 pounds of litter after beaches reopen,” stated a headline on the Truththeory website and posted to Facebook on May 12.

We found that the number of 13,000 pounds was correct. However, it would have been more accurate to refer to the materials as “garbage” rather than “litter” because some of it was found in trash bins. Also, it was a reference to one specific beach in the state, as explained in the story.

The Facebook post cites a May 9 article by Florida Today about the amount of garbage found on Cocoa Beach once restrictions were lifted.

Starting in late March and then April, the city of Cocoa Beach posted rules that significantly limited use of the beach including the hours, parking and group sizes. But in recent weeks those rules were loosened — and that’s when the garbage piled up.

Click here to read the full fact-check.

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