HAULOVER BEACH, Fla. – Miami-Dade Parks and Recreation did not have any knowledge on a beachside gender reveal party over the weekend that has since received quite a bit of attention.
Part of a South Florida beach was blocked off and confetti cannons, amongst other celebratory items, were used by partygoers.
Charles Levine witnessed the event and called what happened on Sunday, at Haulover Beach “egregious.”
“It’s outrageous for us because we go to that beach all the time, and we spend a good portion of our time, there, picking up garbage,” he said.
Looking on from the water were Miami-Dade police unites, as one of their officers, who was off-duty, requested their presence. That officer is also the dad-to-be.
This was to be the gender reveal of all gender reveals, with a helicopter releasing blue powder over the water. On the beach below, smoke bombs and blue confetti canons were fired off.
Cell phone video, and later, Local 10′s cameras, captured that confetti scattered across the sand.
Dr. Rachel Silverstein is an ecologist and Executive Director of Miami Waterkeeper, a non-profit environmental advocacy group.
“I’m sure that it was not the goal of the couple celebrating this gender reveal to cause environmental damage, but we all have to be thinking about how our actions affect the greater community and the environment,” said Dr. Silverstein.
As for the gender reveal, the non-profit reported it to the county’s Department of Environmental Resource Management.
A spokesperson told Local 10 News that while the department doesn’t enforce litter violations, and it would be hard to after the fact, it did reach out to the company that put on the event, which told them, what it told Local 10: that that blue powder is non-toxic. Edible, even.
Local 10 also heard back from parks and rec which manages the beach.
They said organized events do require a ‘special event permit’ which spells out “the organizer is responsible for cleanup.”
In this case, since the area was cordoned off behind yellow tape, a ground reservation would have been necessary.
Parks staff was not aware of this event in advance.
The beach is cleaned daily, and Local 10 was told the area was addressed on schedule with no unusual issues.
The concern now is who and how will someone one-up this reveal.
“This is definitely an unusual occurrence and we hope that it doesn’t become a trend,” said Dr. Silverstein. “We hope that people celebrate important moments for their families in our shared natural areas, safely, and with our community and environment in mind.”
The parks department told Local 10, “Police can issue citations for littering, but, to [the department’s] knowledge, none were issued in this case.”