Beachgoers were willing to sit out Memorial Day, but as we approach Independence Day many Americans have had enough.
The central California beach city of Santa Cruz was forced to reopen beaches early yesterday after citizens simply stopped obeying the rules.
The public was overwhelmingly ignoring the restrictions, said Santa Cruz County Public Health Officer Dr. Gail Newel.
Civil disobedience in Santa Cruz last week
“We had hoped to continue the beach closure until after the Fourth of July weekend,” she told MercuryNews. “But it has become impossible for law enforcement to continue to enforce that closure. People are not willing to be governed any more in that regard, and so we want to recognize that by removing that restriction.”
The county is believed to be the last of California’s 15 coastal counties to reopen its beaches.
For the last two months, it has been illegal to be on the beach between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m., except to cross to get to the water to surf, swim or boat. Violators faced fines of up to $1,000.
At first, locals and visitors followed the rules, but as time went on, more and more people started jogging and playing volleyball, and eventually started staking their umbrellas and laying out their towels.
Soon they’ll be staking their flags for fireworks. Happy Fourth!