Victory! The Village of Islamorada passed an ordinance banning cigarette smoking on municipally owned beaches and parks.
Islamorada, with crystal clear waters and subtropical beaches and parks, is connected to the waters and ecosystems of the nationally protected Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. A strong beach smoking ban ensures that those resources are protected from the harmful impacts of cigarette butt litter.
In June, Surfrider’s Florida network celebrated the passage of HB105 Regulation of Smoking by Counties and Municipalities. Surfrider has long advocated for banning smoking on Florida’s beaches as a pathway to reduce plastic pollution and prevent cigarette litter from entering waterways and harming marine life. Under the new law effective July 1, 2022 Florida counties and municipalities can restrict smoking within the boundaries of any public beach or park they own, except for unfiltered cigars. Surfrider staff and its Florida Keys Chapter worked closely with the Islamorada Village Council to introduce the ordinance for adoption, spoke out in support of the ordinance during its first and second reading, and launched a social media campaign to raise awareness in the local community.
Surfrider celebrates this victory and continues to support local municipal efforts in Florida to enact beach smoking bans and prevent the harmful effects of cigarette butt litter.