Support local journalism. Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Cocoa Beach residents upset after artist's Earth Day beach art doubled as sea turtle death trap

Posted By on Tue, Apr 19, 2016 at 3:28 PM

click image An example of Brittingham's work. "Sun & Moon" 2011, Cape Canaveral - PHOTO VIA EARTHART12.COM
  • Photo via
  • An example of Brittingham's work. "Sun & Moon" 2011, Cape Canaveral
Residents of Cocoa Beach, Florida, are upset after an artist's Earth Day sand sculpture created a deadly obstacle for endangered sea turtle hatchlings. 

As part of the 28th Annual "Earth Work," sand artist and Fort Lauderdale resident Todd Brittingham created a giant "Ouroborus" by digging trenches in the sand in front of the International Palms Resort," reports Florida Today

Brittingham's "sky message," which is art designed to be seen from above, was only meant to last over the weekend. However, on Monday morning, Cocoa Beach residents began posting photos to Facebook showing the art work's deep trenches had not been refilled.  

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, nesting seasons for both leatherback and loggerhead turtles began on March 1 and an indentation in the sand or only a few inches deep can entrap both types of sea turtle hatchlings. 

Currently, it is against Cocoa Beach's municipal code to dig trenches that are more than 18 inches deep. It is also against ordinance to " ... depart from the area of digging without having first completely filled such hole, trench or depression," reports the Brevard Times

According to the Times the event was not sanctioned by the City and the International Palms Resort now faces fines by both Cocoa Beach and the State of Florida.

Brittingham told the paper that he thought his sand art was dug below the high tide mark and that the tide would take care of it. "I'm very sensitive to people's concerns about the sea turtles," Brittingham said.

Tags: , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 19, 2022

View more issues


© 2022 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation