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Orange Crush Event Trashes Georgia's Tybee Beach; Community Cleans Up (VIDEOS)

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It was the mess that went viral.

On April 21, a crowd of partiers descended on Georgia's Tybee Beach for Orange Crush, an unsanctioned, unofficial night of revelry. By morning, the crowd was gone, but what they left behind had residents livid.

Partiers left a tidal wave of trash strewn across the beach, from bottles to plastic cups and styrofoam coolers. Tybee Island resident Tony Abruzzio couldn't believe his eyes, so he grabbed his camera and filmed the aftermath.

Scroll Down To See The Mayor's Response

"They basically destroyed our beach," Abruzzio said in his video, which went viral once he posted it to YouTube. "Even St. Patrick's day, when we have over 100,000 people come down here... I've never seen it like this before."

According to the video, local residents and volunteers from nearby Savannah State University scrambled to clean up their beach, which was debris-free by Sunday afternoon. Savannah State University used to sponsor the event, but in recent years has retracted its support and encourages students not to attend, according to College News.

In a phone interview with The Huffington Post, Savannah State University spokesperson Loretta Heyward said she was "still trying to pin down" the connection between the university and Orange Crush, and indicated that the party had not been sponsored by the SSU since at least 1993.

"I'm not sure that it ever was [sponsored by the university]," Heyward said. "I'm not sure how we became associated with it."

A statement released by the university on Monday commended "approximately 15" members of Savannah State's Marine Science Club that "stepped up to be part of the solution by organizing a beach clean-up session for Sunday morning."

WSAV, a local NBC affiliate, spoke with Tybee Mayor Jason Buelterman, who said that the city had not had time to prepare for the beach party, having only found out about it a few days before the event.

"Every year they go to a different part of the beach, so we have no way of knowing where they will end up. You almost need a mobile crew to deal with the litter,” Buelterman told WSAV.

In past years, Tybee police had set up traffic check points to help control the thousands of revelers that flock to the island for the annual event, according to the Savannah Morning News blog.

Citing crime data from the City of Tybee, College News reported 18 arrests associated with Orange Crush, including six felony drug arrests.

UPDATE:
On Tuesday morning, The Huffington Post spoke with Mayor Buelterman in a phone interview. He said that the major problem with Orange Crush is that it is not a permitted event, and that without the structure and accountability of a permitted event, there is no way that local government can adequately prepare for a large gathering of people.

"We welcome people coming out to the beach, but not unorganized, un-permitted events," Buelterman said. Buelterman also said that while some residents have been upset by the mess in previous years, "you can't close a public beach."

According to Buelterman, the mess left by party goers on Saturday night was further complicated by an incoming high tide, which may have "swept trash out to sea and caused damage to marine life."

WATCH: Tybee Island Mayor Jason Buelterman Thanks Beach Cleanup Volunteers.

Plus, Check Out Footage From Some Of America's Wildest College Parties.

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