BEER CAN ISLAND (FOX 13) - What was once an isolated, pristine area off Long Boat Key has become a playground for political vandals.
"Bernie" and "Feel the Bern" were painted on massive pieces of driftwood. They refer to Bernie Sanders, Democratic candidate for president. Investigators suspect that the slogans showed up over the weekend.
Other graffiti including hearts, peace signs and swirls deface nearby driftwood.
"Just unfortunate," commented Earl Bodman. "Leave the beauty that's there."
"Go put a political sign in your frontyard. There's no need to do it out here," said a Michigan woman walking on the beach with her family.
However, Chritina Atkinson says it's a First Ammendment issue.
"I think its an opportunity to express themselves," she said.
An area resident, Fran Hoffman Plumley, became so upset over the vandalism, she put pictures of it on her Facebook page and got 600 shares, so far.
The paint can problem is not sitting well with local law enforcement, either.
Chief of the Long Boat Police Department, Pete Cumming says he is going to have the area patrolled more heavily. The Chief also says he is going to have the graffiti removed.
Residents tell FOX 13 News the area where the graffiti showed up is a hangout for college-aged people and a party spot. They say, as the weather gets warmer, the crowd usually gets bigger.