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Boaters dumping trash near Boca Raton Inlet becomes 'worldwide story'

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says 'several' people identified
Posted at 4:29 PM, May 02, 2024

BOCA RATON, Fla. — The search continues for a group of people caught on camera last weekend dumping large buckets of trash into the water off the Boca Raton Inlet.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said Wednesday they identified "several" people who committed the act.

Their actions continue to infuriate many people who live in the area while eliciting strong comments on social media.

Video showed the rowdy group of weekend boaters leaving the inlet and then two men are spotted dumping full garbage cans into the water, leaving a trail of trash.

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The group was later seen returning to shore and waving to the camera.

The video was recorded by a local content creator, who called out the behavior in a video that's racked up hundreds of thousands of views this week and generated a blistering response from the public.

"This has become a worldwide story," Rodney Barreto, the chairman of the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, said. "I mean, the world is watching this."

The FWC said its investigation is "ongoing" and several suspects have already been identified.

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"We are identifying the subjects that were involved in the illegal dumping of trash in our marine enviroment," FWC spokesman Tyson Matthews said. "If those involved would like to step forward and identify themselves, you can call us."

Investigators said they're working with the state attorney's office to identify any potential charges in the incident.

The boaters were leaving the annual Boca Bash gathering when the dumping occurred.

The organization posted on social media that "we do not condone this behavior by any means," also saying that it's "appalled that the passengers even had the audacity to clap at the drone that was filming them dumping their garbage."

Their actions are also upsetting many in the community, especially those who use the waters regularly.

"I SCUBA dive here, and if we mess up on the size of a fish, that's like a $5,000 fine and possibly some days in jail," one outraged resident said. "It's major, so we're all really careful, and they should have some consequence like that, so people don't do the same."