Concern Over Possible Large, Unsanctioned Party Prompts Beach Closures In Santa Barbara County
"Floatopia" is the name of a large unsponsored, unsanctioned party which would sometimes take place at some Santa Barbara County beaches around spring break. There hasn't been a major event in a few years, after authorities took a number of steps to prevent the gatherings.
Now, officials say there is a new reason to make sure it doesn't happen. To maintain proper social distancing guidelines, Santa Barbara County's Community Services Department has announced the beaches of Isla Vista will be closed.
The action was preemptively announced after concerns were raised about whether or not "Flotopia" would happen.
In the past the "Floatopia" event was driven by social media, bringing people together at the beach for a large party.
In 2009, the size of the event overwhelmed the beaches, and lead to serious health and safety concerns.
When the beaches were closed in later years, the event moved to Del Playa Drive, and was renamed "Deltopia."
In the past few years, the crowds have been significantly reduced. UC Santa Barbara hosted events to divert partygoers.
This year, due to coronavirus, the population of Isla Vista is below normal for this time of year, and the school cancelled any events.
While the possibility of large crowds has diminished, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department is ramping up just in case.