Smoking on the beach could soon be a thing of the past on many Palm Beach County beaches.
Boca Save Our Beaches founder Jessica Gray says their volunteers have picked up 123,211 cigarettes on Palm Beach County beaches since 2017. Gray says they also collected other items related to smoking including 966 e-cigarettes and 26,095 lighters, packaging, etc..
Gov. Ron DeSantis recently signed a bill allowing local governments to restrict smoking on public beaches and in parks, and local governments are moving quickly to bring the ban to their area.
The City of Delray Beach is slated to discuss an ordinance banning smoking on the beach and in public parks Tuesday. However, the City Attorney Lynn Gelin said the city already has an ordinance in place, meaning they could issue a citation now if someone is caught smoking on the beach.
She says the ban would benefit more than just marine life.
"It's for the overall public's enjoyment of the beach," Gelin said. "I think that's why this is important, and hopefully it'll make a difference."
Gelin says if a citation is issued, the fine could be upwards of $500.
Boca Raton, Palm Beach, and Lake Worth Beach are expected to follow suit with their own smoking bans in the coming weeks.
The Mayor of Boca Raton Scott Singer says he plans to introduce a smoking ban at their next council meeting.
Leaders in the Town of Palm Beach voted in favor of a similar ban, which they will take a final vote on in August.