VERO BEACH, Fla. (AP) — State officials say visitors defecating on a group of small islands near Florida's east coast has become a problem.
Treasure Coast Newspapers reports that the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is asking kayakers, picnickers and anglers to stop leaving human waste on the dozens of spoil islands in the Indian River Lagoon.
Environmental specialist Emily Dark says the islands are made up of sand and limestone, and they lack the proper soil to effectively break down human waste. The waste can create a serious health hazard on the islands' shores and an even bigger problem when rain causes it to drain into the lagoon.
The islands don't have trash cans or restrooms, so visitors are responsible for taking away anything they bring to the island. Dark says people should bring landfill-approved human waste bags or a portable toilet.