Florida mangroves razed for boat show

2015-06-30 19:14
Government forest scientist Reynier Samon plants a mangrove seed in Batabano, Cuba. (Franklin Reyes, AP)

Government forest scientist Reynier Samon plants a mangrove seed in Batabano, Cuba. (Franklin Reyes, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Miami - New revelations that a long strip of protected mangrove trees were illegally razed amid preparations for the 2016 Miami International Boat Show has outraged Florida environmentalists.

The lost trees, critical to the marine ecosystem, were hacked away in mid-May by a Miami city contractor in advance of the five-day show expected to draw about 100 000 attendees and 1 500 boats.

Environmental activists said in a letter to the US Army Corps of Engineers that staging the show in an environmentally sensitive region could violate a number of federal laws including the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Water Act.

The federal agency is currently weighing permits for the boat show, slated to be held next February at the Miami Marine Stadium.

"You've got sea grasses, corals, manatees, all sorts of protected birds," said Mayra Peña Lindsay, mayor of nearby Key Biscayne, one of the show's staunchest opponents.

The affluent city, on an island just outside Miami city limits, has hired a public relations firm to demand the National Marine Manufacturers Association move its event elsewhere.

But the city of Miami, which has agreed to replant the trees that could take more than five years to grow to full size, continues to support the boat show.

"It was an isolated incident," said Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado.

The more than 90m of mangroves were razed from a beach abutting the Miami Marine Stadium, a historic yet long dormant seaside venue that once hosted ocean races and concert performances on floating stages.

Nonprofit organizations and the city of Miami have been working for years to revive the stadium, which was shuttered after Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Miami earlier this year agreed to spend $16 million on an extensive overhaul.

The boat show, celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2016, also committed several million to improving the structure.

"Boaters are some of the original conservationists," said Ellen Hopkins, spokesperson for the National Marine Manufacturers Association.

Read more on:    us  |  environment  |  marine life

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.