LAUDERDALE-BY-THE-SEA, FLA. (WSVN) – A South Florida man just wants to clean up his hometown, but the city says, not so fast.
Garrett Nathan loves picking up litter on the beach in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea.
“It’s a beautiful beach town, something I’m really proud to be a part of,” Nathan said.
He’s been doing it for years, several times a week.
“We fill half a trash can by barely walking half a mile,” he said.
Now he wants to organize a collective cleaning of the beach. The group did a cleanup last month.
“We just want to have a day where everyone goes out once a month and tries to clean up the whole town. It’s not just about the beaches. It’s about parks, parking lots, sidewalks,” he said.
The city also likes to pick up trash. They even provide baskets on the beach for anyone to do.
The town is all for Nathan to take more, but since he’s promoting his cleanup with a flyer, it’s considered an event, which caused a problem.
“Apparently it caused a little problem,” Nathan said.
The city said Nathan needed a permit for his cleanup, and if he continues to promote without a permit, he will be fined.
“A fine of $500/day for every day I continue to advertise and organize beach cleanups,” he said.
The city is said to have permits that help protect marine life, such as sand-nesting sea turtles.
A city commissioner emailed Nathan the following message: “Having people alone or even in groups is certainly welcome and even encouraged to clean up the beach. However, when announced, promoted publicly via the Internet or other means so that members of the public are invited to participate or watch, it requires permission.
Nathan just wants to keep picking up trash.
“It really helps bring the whole community together, and we thought it would be a great project that anyone could participate in,” he said.
The city is all for it, but if he wants to promote the cleanup, he’ll need a permit.
The city sent Nathan a courtesy reminder and a link to start the permitting process. They also sent a statement to 7News which reads, “Our city is such a leader in environmental awareness…We hope Mr. Nathan changes his mind and decides to go through our event permit process so that can organize this event in a safe and respectful way.
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