The Honorable Robert M. “Bobby” Dyer, Mayor 2401 Courthouse Drive, City Hall Building #1, Room 281, Municipal Center Virginia Beach, VA 23456
RE: Floatopia, Memorial Day 2021
Dear Mayor Dyer:
I am writing you with immediate and great concern. The Ocean Park bayfront community has once again been targeted as the location for the unsanctioned Floatopia event on Sunday, May 30, 2021. The event coordinators, Matthew David and Stephen Hobbs, are specifically targeting the Lesner Bridge channel and eastern Ocean Park beach. This concern is evidenced in the below social media posts.
I am certain you recall the significant destruction left in the wake of the 2019 Floatopia event that elicited substantial lawlessness and resulted in extensive beach debris – literally tons of debris was scattered across our beach and in the Bay for residents and City workers to clean. It was so destructive that it garnered attention from both national and international media. Attached are notes taken from the emergency Ocean Park Civic League meeting in the aftermath of the 2019 Floatopia, which many of you may have attended.
Mayor Dyer, We cannot allow this event to occur on our beaches again!
We, as a community in Ocean Park, are wholly opposed to this event and the terrible impact it had on our small community, as well as the terrible environmental impact left in its wake (beach and bay debris left behind to pollute our land and beaches and the untold impact on countless native species of fish, birds and other native animals).
Memorial Day weekend is just a few days away, and time is of the essence! With such a short window of time to act to prevent the Floatopia organizer(s) from unleashing another international debacle on our community again, our residents require immediate communication from you regarding the City’s plan to prevent a repeat of the 2019 disaster. Please respond with details as soon as possible and we will share your response with our residents.
Daniel Murphy Ocean Park Civic League President firstname.lastname@example.org
Cc:James Wood, Vice Mayor/Councilmember, Lynnhaven District #5 Louis Jones, Councilmember, Bayside District #4 Patrick A. Duhaney, City Manager Paul W. Neudigate, Police Chief Captain Jeffery Wilkerson, Commanding Officer 3rd Precinct Mark Shea, Comprehensive Planning Coordinator, Bayfront Advisory Commission Phil Davenport, Chairman, Bayfront Advisory Commission Todd Solomon, Shore Drive Community Coalition Chief, Prevention Department, Commander Dean Horton, Sr., U.S. Coast Guard Frank Rabena, Vice President, Virginia Pilot Association
Terrific discussion and Q&A at BAC meeting yesterday about storm water work being done from Lesner Bridge to Great Neck Road plus updates on infrastructure improvements to Pleasure House Road and Shore Drive Phase 3 and Phase 4 timelines.