The Oct. 1 letter writer Betty McDavit describes her experience of “walking in slime and stepping on discarded soda cans along the water’s edge” at Crandon Park Beach on Key Biscayne.
We were sorry to read that her day at the beach was an unpleasant one. However, we encourage her to make a return visit, as the slimy beach she experienced was actually because of naturally occurring algae. Low tide and the warm waters of the “lagoon beach” at Crandon create algae in the shallow areas. It creates a condition different from the “surf beach” found at Haulover Park or South Beach, where the water gets deep quickly and has an ever-present wave action, which, when combined with the looser sand, prevents anything like the lagoon effect that happens at Crandon.
During high tide, the algae isn’t noticeable, so anyone who wants to avoid it can do so. We’ve found that children usually enjoy the sensation of it underneath their wet, sandy feet and nature explorers are typically eager to see what type of habitat it creates for sea and beach life.
While nature plays its part with algae creation, there is certainly no excuse for the debris that has been left behind by people who litter.
Each year, the Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation & Open Spaces Department spends more than $1.5 million in dumping fees, removing garbage from parks and beaches, and $3 million in staff time to simply pick up litter from parks and beaches. During weekends and holidays, the amount of litter is particularly high, as picnickers flock to beaches and parks for reunions and recreation.
We all have a responsibility to be active participants in creating and maintaining pristine conditions by not littering and by educating family, friends and neighbors to do the same. Together we can make and keep our community beautiful, enjoyable and safe for everyone, including wildlife, every day of the year.
Crandon, like all beaches in Miami-Dade County, are tested regularly by the health department and it has consistently been ranked a highly popular beach among residents and visitors over the years, whether they are sunbathing, swimming or picnicking. We invite everyone to come out for a fun day in the sand, surf and dunes of Crandon Park Beach, where eco-adventures come to life.
Jack Kardys, director, Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation
& Open Spaces, Miami