City, volunteers clean up debris on Cocoa Beach from Hurricane Irma

By Greg Pallone, Reporter
Last Updated: Friday, January 12, 2018, 2:38 PM EST

Months after Irma, shredded plastic and trash is washing up in Cocoa Beach. Now there's the challenge of getting it all cleaned up.

  • Debris washes up on Cocoa Beach months after Irma
  • Keep Brevard Beautful tasked with cleaning up the mess
  • If you'd like to volunteer to clean up, email

Workers and volunteers with Keep Brevard Beautiful were alerted of the problem Thursday, and now a team is on the beach near Shepard Park and points south.

The issue is not just large pieces of debris, of which there is a lot — it's also tiny shards of plastic and small debris, difficult to pick up in volumes.

Snowbird Tom Toniloi and his wife walk the beach every day, and over the past few days they spotted all the debris.

So, where did it come from?

KBB thinks it’s leftover debris from the Caribbean islands that washed all the way up to the Cocoa Beach hundreds of miles away.

Much of this tiny mess was brought in by the tides and covered up by sand.

But recent storms have churned up the ocean and washed away that sand, exposing the shards of plastic and trash all the way up to the high tide line.

“If that stuff is on the beach, we are wondering what else may have come with it. What else is in the water,” said Tonioli.

The city of Cocoa Beach is treating this situation as all hands on deck. They are putting out trash bags at beach accesses and will be using equipment to clean up debris where permitted.

If you would like to get a cleanup team through KBB, email KBB Volunteer Coordinator Desiree Lesko at