Jul 06 2009

Folly on the 4th

 

Every July 4th has been great for me and for most on Folly Beach, but this one topped the charts. The weather could not have been better and the fireworks display really topped off a great time on the beach. It will go down as one of our best times as a family and I know many of you would agree if you were fortunate enough  to be here. Even if you weren’t, chances are you have similar memories from years past. If you were here I would love to hear stories and see pictures. Post here, and as always, email robert@follybeach.com your pictures to be posted on the site.

While we all had a blast there is a trashy side to this story, one that has sparked debate over allowing alcohol on the beach once again.  Though some noticed the night of the 4th, the full picture of how much trash had been left behind was not clear until the next morning. Beer cans and other trash filled the beach and piles of the same spilled over into the streets. One Folly resident says it best in a letter to FIVA (Folly Islands Voter Association), which we listed below.

So we ask you, what should happen from here? Are people overreacting? Should alcohol be banned? I think we can all agree that leaving Folly Beach in a trash heap is bad, though opinions will surely differ in how to address the issue. Post here so other people can read. Your thoughts will be offered to visitors on FollyBeach.com and to FIVA.

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 The letter below does not represent FollyBeach.com or FIVA:

 

Up to this point, I’d have to say that I have avidly supported allowing alcohol on the beach, but after seeing what our day visitors left behind, both still out on the beach, and back along the streets in residents’ yards, to be picked up by the people who live on Folly Beach, I’ll have to say that as of 4 July 2009, I have now changed my stance. It was such a disgusting and embarrassing thing to see that instead of walking out to the beach to watch the fireworks show, we simply went back home.

 
I had decided that I was going to leave it there for everyone to see the following morning, because it had reached the point that the residents of Folly Beach are being taken advantage of in a blatant and irresponsible manner. Our beaches have become, over the past year, simply a place where people feel they can come to drink, and leave their trash behind because we will clean it up for them, instead of them cleaning up after themselves and their fellow party-goers.

 
And the story is the same from anyone you speak to, not only along the East 9th st to East -11st. area, but all over the island. The day visitors are now taking advantage of what we will do for them simply because we are proud of our home, and that simply is not right, and it no longer deserves a benefit of any doubt from anyone.
I wasn’t going to clean it up. I was going to leave the two blocks of beach that I clean up 3 to 5 times each week trashed up, so everybody could see what the situation has become, but I couldn’t bear the thought of having to walk out to the beach and have to sit amidst the piles of garbage; beer cans, glass bottles, plastic cups, broken Styrofoam coolers, clothing, discarded beach towels, broken shade shelters, discarded take-out food boxes, all of it simply left behind for us to clean up the next day. Piles of it everywhere, ignored by the very same people who walked right past it and left it there.

 
So I finally got 3 large trash can liners and headed out to once again pick up after people who have decided that the residents of Folly Beach are their mothers, and when I had gotten to the beach, people from not only Folly Beach, but from Seccesionville, and even a couple of people who were here on vacation,…..almost a dozen people, mind you, had spent two hours……….two full hours………hauling trash and garbage up from the beach for just the section from the East 9th street to the East 11th street walkovers alone. Two full hours of work by nearly a dozen people who were simply so embarrassed and disgusted that they felt they had to do something about it.

 
Trash that is 99% alcohol containers that is simply being left behind on the beach by day visitors who flood our beach this year because we have allowed them to drink irresponsibly after they have been effectively evicted from Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island for doing exactly this same thing.

 
I spend my money on our island, and want very deeply for our local businesses owned by my neighbors and friends to survive and flourish, but not if it means that the rest of us who live in Folly Beach are going to be expected to wade knee deep in the trash that the day visitors leave behind while they sleep off their drunk the next morning back home. I no longer feel that allowing the sales to and accommodations for those who want to drink alcohol on the beach is worth living in a place that has become overwhelmed and inundated with their trash.

 
The game’s over. It has become the City of Folly Beach’s turn to finally deal with this overwhelming problem.

 
Bubber Hutto

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