Santa Barbara County officials say they are planning to close Isla Vista’s beaches this weekend, as part of an effort to prevent an unsponsored, unsanctioned party which created massive public safety problems four years ago.
In 2009, an event dubbed “Flotopia” attracted thousands of people to the beaches, leading to numerous cases of alcohol poisoning, as well as health concerns from a lack of restrooms, and mountains of garbage left behind.
The county also racked up tens of thousands of dollars in overtime for public safety workers.
Since then, the county has monitored social media used to spread word of the event, and moved to closed beaches on weekends when it appeared a similar event might be occurring.
College students have reacted by moving the party out of the surf, and beach, and into Isla Vista, but it’s been much smaller, and easier for authorities to manage.