City of Miami Approved Dumping on Wetlands

Letter to Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection

March 31, 2011

Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Mr. Donald Keirn
Environmental Specialist III
Submerged Lands & Environmental Resources Program
Department of Environmental Protection
400 N. Congress Ave., Suite 200
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
Via email: Don.Keirn@dep.state.fl.us

Subject: North Point, Virginia Key, Florida
Conceptual Environmental Resource Permit No. EC 13-0267159-001
Port Tunnel Contractor Deposits on wetlands, mangroves.

Dear Mr. Keirn:

We are writing to object to the dumping of excavation materials from the Miami Harbor tunnel project on Virginia Key, a barrier island within the Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserve, an Outstanding Florida Water.

The City of Miami, the municipality that has jurisdiction over the North Point of Virginia Key, has allowed the Port of Miami Tunnel contractor, Bouygues Civil Works Florida,. Inc. access to Virginia Key for the purpose of depositing tens of thousands of cubic yards of fill material on the North Point.  The contractor has been cited  for depositing material on wetlands and destroying mangroves.  A “Notice of Violation” was issued by the Miami-Dade County Department of Environmental Resources (DERM) and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is investigating.

The North Point of Virginia Key is an environmentally significant and fragile area for which the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has identified special resource designations:  Manatee No Entry Zone, the Critical Wildlife Area and Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserve.

In 1994,  the Florida DEP described the North Point as “highly productive fish and wildlife habitat, as well as a movement corridor for the endangered manatee.” An extensive restoration project  created five acres of coastal hammock, four acres of dune, 12 acres of new mangrove forest and new tidal habitat where there is a thriving coastal band mangrove community of red, white, and black mangroves.

In light of the significant environmental resources of the North Point of Virginia Key and the surrounding Wildlife Refuge and Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserve, we are requesting that the Florida DEP:

*Issue an immediate Cease and Desist Order to prevent further damage to the area’s natural resources.

*Conduct an ecological assessment of the area to determine what damage has been caused by the most recent dumping of materials, the dumping of Port of Miami dredge materials in the 1990s as well as other uses introduced over the years by the City of Miami. These uses may be incompatible with the fragile natural resources of the uplands and submerged lands as well as contrary to the deed restrictions set by the State of Florida when it conveyed the property to the City of Miami in 1942.

*Request that the State of Florida manage the ecological restoration of the area, in partnership with Miami-Dade County’s Environmentally Endangered Lands Program or other responsible entities.

*Establish a state park, preserve or wildlife refuge on Virginia Key, in particular in the North Point and Critical Wildlife Refuge areas, to assure the protection and preservation of the area for future generations.

Thank you in advance for your attention and assistance in this matter of great public Interest.

Please add the undersigned to the list of organizations and individuals to be notified by the Florida DEP in all matters related to this issue and permit application.

Sincerely,

Debbie Matthews, chair
Sierra Club Miami Group
P.O. Box 43-0741
S. Miami, FL 33243-0741
email: treehuggerdeb@yahoo.com
Phone: 305-766-0835

Robert S. Skinner
Izaak Walton League of America, Miami Chapter
2730 SW 3rd Ave # 205
Miami, FL 33129-2339
Phone: 305-285-0916
email: skinner205@earthlink.net
www.yellowbot.com/izaak-walton-league-of-america-miami-fl.html

Michael Chenoweth
The Izaak Walton League, Florida Keys Chapter
P.O. Box 236
Homestead, Florida 33090-0236
Phone: (305) 451-0993
email: gladerunner@earthlink.net

Alexis K. Segal, Esq.
Biscayne Bay Waterkeeper, Waterkeeper and Executive Director
465 Ocean Drive #417,Miami Beach, FL 33139
Email: alexis@bbwk.orgwww.bbwk.org

 

 

 

SC April, 2011 newsletter – stephenmcgy@gmail.com – Gmail.

Miami Misuse of Funds–How Unusual

And one wonders why the citizens of this county are not more disgusted with the pervasive corruption of its government.  I can only conclude that they think that the rest of the world behaves to same way, and it’s a simply part of the cost of doing business here.  I can assure you that many cities and counties that are well run in this country.

The city of Miami, already deep in the throes of a federal investigation into bond sales and questionable moves used to prop up past budgets, used nearly $7 million in restricted public works money to balance its books to close out the 2009 and 2010 budget years, according to yet another stinging city audit released Thursday.

via Audit: Miami misused millions in public works funds – Miami-Dade – MiamiHerald.com.

Recommended: “Transit Miami” on the FDOT

Any “idiot” (I guess, including FDOT designers) could have driven along Brickell Avenue downtown and have known that this is the most pedestrian and bicycle unfriendly area in the county (I personally think it is also auto-unfriendly).  Fortunately, we have people like the writer of Transit Miami who have take the effort to mobilize the community.

Herein lies the problem with FDOT. Why does it take an entire community to beg for overdue improvements?  Shouldn’t FDOT have been proactive and taken the initiative to introduce improvements from the beginning? Why didn’t FDOT reach out to the community to get their input?

Together we will make a difference on Brickell Avenue, but only because so many people are directly affected by this poorly designed road.

via FDOT is Broken. How Do We Fix It? | Transit Miami.

This same culture of having to beg the government for change (without many results) applies to the city government of Coral Gables.

Thanks AT&T!

AT&T–you have the worst internet, wireless and customer service in town (except maybe for Comcast!).  My internet service was out for a few days and I read books!  Enjoyable indeed.

Take Note Coral Gables Commissioners: Unpleasant, but Necessary for the Taxpayers

This is probably hurting the firefighter chiefs and officers more than it is hurting the lower ranks.  The upper limit on retirement is unpleasant, but essential.  It is too bad that firefighter unions were so greedy–they are to blame equally with politicians that get us into this stew.

“It’s a very painful time for us,” said Robert Suarez, president of the Miami Association of Firefighters. “Our firefighters are very upset. We are looking at 20 to 30 percent pay cuts. The attendance of the mayor and commissioners would have created a hostile event out of something that is very positive.”

Firefighter salaries were cut between 5 and 12 percent. But after factoring in cuts to other bonuses for education or specialized jobs, union leaders say the actual cuts are more than double. Pensions were also capped at a $100,000 a year payout. The moves were designed to help close a $105 million city budget hole and avoid laying off one-third of the city’s workforce.

via At union’s request, Miami leaders stay away from new fire station – Miami-Dade – MiamiHerald.com.

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