The Student News Site of Elkhart High School

The PENNANT Online

The Student News Site of Elkhart High School

The PENNANT Online

The Student News Site of Elkhart High School

The PENNANT Online

Breaking Up With Spring Break

Miami’s beaches took a hit last year in the wake of “trashy” vacationers; not this year!

With Spring Break only days away for Elkhart High School, many students (and faculty) are headed into next week with excitement and anticipation— for both the hours of extra sleep and all the vacation possibilities. While many choose to travel out-of-state over break, one of the most popular spring break destinations has recently announced its “break up” with Spring Break: Miami. 

On March 1, the City of Miami posted a YouTube video titled Miami Beach is Breaking Up With Spring Break, detailing how they would place restrictions on “spring breakers” throughout the month of March, such as $100 parking fees, strict curfews, placing fines on AirBNB’s, and temporarily banning all public consumption of alcohol.

But, why would a city essentially waste the opportunity to make large profits from tourism? With Miami Beach welcoming 10.9 million tourists yearly, they stand to lose billions of dollars (more specifically, $10 billion annually) from these heavy restrictions. 

However, this cost is negligible compared to the cost of crime and damage spring break tourism has brought to Miami and its beaches. 

In the “break up” video, numerous headlines are shown, including headlines of the different crimes committed by spring break tourists—such as “488 Arrests and 105 Firearms Seized”—but most importantly… photos of beaches being trashed. 

Beaches littered with garbage is a tale as old as grime, and yet for Miami, this sight is scathing. Elkhart Sophomore Justin Lee, who has recently visited Miami, says, “I visited last year and I remember it was packed. We were at the beach late one night, and it was completely trashed. I had the chance to go again in early March, and it was so much more empty. The beaches were cleaner, too!” 

While many spring break tourists, much like Justin, only stay at these destinations for one week, the aftermath of their visits can last for years. After the tourist season is over, many beloved beaches are left under a blanket of litter for its residents to clean up.  This debris–consisting of plastic bottles, straws, food packaging, and more–does not just taint the beauty of these attractions but leads to significant environmental issues that persist long after the tourists’ footprint fades from the sand. Statistics reveal that over 100 million marine animals are killed each year due to discarded plastic in the ocean. Turtles, for instance, can mistake plastic bags for jellyfish, their natural prey, leading to ingestion that can be fatal. Similarly, seabirds often ingest small pieces of plastic, mistaking them for fish eggs, which can fill their stomachs and prevent them from consuming actual nourishment, leading to starvation. Beyond the immediate threat to wildlife, this pollution disrupts the entire marine ecosystem, affecting the health of coral reefs and the ocean’s food chain.

While Miami’s strict measures to ban spring break might have cost the city billions in potential tourism revenue, the payoff in terms of environmental preservation is immeasurable. Although it has led to many being disappointed that they cannot visit the stunning “Vice City” during peak weather, Miami’s bold move is a lesson in the value of respecting and protecting man’s natural surroundings, both near and far. 


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Dania Razaq
Dania Razaq, Staff Writer
Hi! I'm Dania Razaq. Even though I am now a senior, this is my first year to be on The PENNANT staff. However, I love to use my communication skills to share information with my peers, so this is just a natural extension of that! One of my other passions is being a part of the Speech Team, which also provides me with a platform to connect with others about topics of importance. As you read my articles, I hope that you will share my enthusiasm!

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    SemancikMar 28, 2024 at 4:33 pm

    Very well-written Dania! I’d love to see a follow up piece after spring break that investigates whether their measures were effective.