Miami Beach

Where are the Floatniks heading?

Floats fill the Atlantic at an earlier Floatopia event on Miami Beach in 2014.
Floats fill the Atlantic at an earlier Floatopia event on Miami Beach in 2014. Miami Herald file

If a mass of beach goers want to flood South Beach with plastic floaties on Sunday, city officials want to deflate the party.

After last year's Floatopia left behind a morass of litter on the beach — aluminum cans, plastic floatation devices and glass bottles — city officials created rules for policing the sand during periods when thousands hit the beach, such as spring break.

floatopia file(2)
Miami Beach city commissioner Michael Grieco shot this photo of garbage left behind by thousands of people who took part in a Floatopia event on the sands of South Beach in 2016. Michael Grieco Courtesy

Mother Nature may have her say first. Forecasters predict an 80-percent chance of thunderstorms Sunday morning and afternoon just as any float party would kick up waves.

But if the National Weather Service’s prediction proves a miss, many of Miami Beach’s measures mirror the plans typically employed each year during Urban Beach Week, a Memorial Day weekend event that includes loosely-affiliated hip-hop concerts and parties.

These plans include using license plate readers to run checks on cars driving onto the island, strictly enforcing bans on alcohol, coolers, tents and, of course, inflatable devices.

On Saturday, city staff noticed a Floatopia-like event originally planned for Haulover Beach was being relocated, but the new spot hadn't been announced.

More: Miami Beach wants spring breakers to keep it chill this year

“A significant spike in social media conversations and increasing audience impressions are now pointing to a secret location to be announced to the masses on the morning of the event. It is rumored that Miami Beach may be the secret location as these non-sanctioned event have previously taken place here,” City Manager Jimmy Morales wrote in a memorandum to the city’s department directors that called for the imposition of the area’s “high impact event measures.”

More: Why Miami Beach wants to sink Floatopia

Morales put his police, fire and code enforcement departments on alert and ready to employ the enforcement measures if Floatnik arrives on Sunday. The imposition order is in effect until 6 a.m. Monday.

“If it is, we want to be prepared,” said city spokeswoman Tonya Daniels.

On Sunday morning, a post on Facebook out the event on Hollywood beach at Connecticut Street.

Wherever Floatnik occurs, organizers appear to want to encourage attendees to clean up after themselves. The Facebook event page has a link to a volunteer page for those interested in being part of a “litter prevention team.” The March 27 page lists Haulover as the site and has a three-part plan of action that includes signage, the handing out of trash bags and warnings to smokers that cigarettes are not biodegradable.

“This is *NOT* a beach cleanup — we are facilitating *FLOATNIK GOERS* to keep our beach clean,” Cassidy Reese posted on the cleanup page.

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