Updated Jun 6, 2024 - News

Treasure Island bans fireworks before July 4

Illustration of a hand putting out a firecracker with their fingers.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Treasure Island is skirting state law to all but ban fireworks on its beaches ahead of Independence Day.

Why it matters: The city says personal fireworks threaten the safety of its residents and visitors — and also leave behind debris that has a "horrible impact" on its environment.

Between the lines: Florida is one of the few states with "firework holidays." Anyone over 18 has the legal right to set off fireworks in Florida on New Year's Eve, New Year's Day and Independence Day.

  • Treasure Island is not issuing an all-out ban on fireworks. Instead, the city is ramping up the enforcement of existing ordinances to effectively prohibit their use.
  • Pinellas County leaned on similar loopholes to restrict personal fireworks in the past, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

The fine print: The city now considers fireworks an open flame — which runs afoul of its rule against building fires without a permit — and views the explosives as litter per its "Leave No Trace" ordinance.

  • Treasure Island also expanded its light ordinance to include fireworks. Artificial lights can confuse hatching sea turtles. Thus, the explosives are not considered "turtle-friendly," per the announcement.

Yes, but: Beachgoers can still enjoy fireworks on Treasure Island.

  • The new enforcement strategy only focuses on personal fireworks, and the annual fireworks show on Treasure Island is visible from the city's beaches.

What they're saying: "The safety and well-being of our residents and visitors have become threatened over the past few years," says Treasure Island Mayor Tyler Payne.

  • "I have personally witnessed an inordinate number of personal fireworks being launched from our beach with minimal precautions," he adds.
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