Beer Can Island is shrinking

Man in swim trunks carries empty beer cans
Photo: Peter Dench / Stringer (Getty Images)

Ever heard of a filthy little slice of paradise called Beer Can Island? Named for the piles and piles of beer cans left behind by partiers and boaters, Beer Can Island is a Florida playground of Margaritavillian proportions. But it might not be around much longer because, the Tampa Bay Times reports, it’s shrinking.

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The Times reports that the party destination should be 23.62 acres—but a recent survey of the island found that it’s only 8.9 acres. The owners said that is more than two acres smaller than in December 2017 when they purchased the island, and they blame erosion. “If we let this go, in five years this won’t be an island,” owner John Gadd told the Times. “It will be a sandbar. We need to save it.”

Turns out the island is shrinking on all sides, which is why the owners want to build a “living shoreline” from natural materials such as rocks, plants, and oyster beds to protect it from the harsh waves. That could cost as much as $500,000, so they started a “Save Our Shore” GoFundMe page in October. So far, they’ve raised less than $1,000.

The erosion could put a major dent in Beer Can Island’s continued development; so far, a floating tiki bar and floating chickee hut have both fallen prey to nature, becoming completely submerged in just a few years. “The waves were really beating them up,” owner James Wester told the Times. So, we had to take them apart. Nature won.” I guess you could say Beer Can Island is... wastin’ away.

Staff writer @ The Takeout, joke writer elsewhere. Wrangling dogs and pork shoulder in Chicago.

DISCUSSION

“Rich people will start paying attention to global warming when their oceanfront property is all ocean and no front.”

- P.J. O’Rourke, 30 years ago.