Dangerous trash found during Bathtub Beach renourishment project - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Dangerous trash found during Bathtub Beach renourishment project

picture by MARTIN COUNTY, FLORIDA picture by MARTIN COUNTY, FLORIDA

STUART, Fla. - Work continues reshaping one of our area's finest beaches.  But some are finding dangerous trash buried in this treasure.

Laureen Clair Oliveira isn’t walking near Bathtub Beach picking up shells.  She's picking up trash.  She shakes a bag full of debris Monday afternoon.


“The beach was closed so I went as far as I could go but in the meantime I found an overwhelming amount of garbage," said Oliveira.            

Oliveira says beyond the traditional trash of straws, bottles and bottle caps were more dangerous things.

"The thing that was really disturbing was the amount of tin cans I was finding.”

Not just that, also a hypodermic needle.
Bathtub Beach is in the midst of a 5-million dollar makeover due to erosion.  New sand is being pumped in from two shoals by the St. Lucie Inlet.  It's unclear if the dredging is dredging up additional trash.

When the beach is complete, beachgoers will also notice a new parking lot and new decking and a new roof on the pavilion.

The Urbanowicz family from Denver hadn’t encountered any trash Monday, and says the beach lives up to its reputation.

“Perfect, sheltered.  Not big waves so it’s safe for the kids.  Snorkeling is great.  It’s a great place to learn to snorkel," said Jay Urbanowicz.

The beach is on track to be finished by May, in time for turtle nesting season.  Oliviera hopes they won’t encounter unexpected trash obstacles.  

Parks and Recreation officials say they scour the open public beaches weekly and will head to Bathtub Beach this week, which is still closed to the public.  When a hypodermic needle is found, it is placed in a container and turned over to Fire-Rescue for disposal.

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