Back when the Tequesta Indians established a village at the mouth of the Miami River, they likely knew their survival depended on the mighty body of water.
What was true in 1200 is still true today. The river has grown with the city of Miami, and it has provided essential opportunities over the years, including trade. Therefore, investing $235,000 from the city’s anti-poverty initiative funds to establish Miami’s first Marine Technology Program is the type of innovative economic development needed in a city that has depended so heavily on the marine industry.
That investment was met with a $100,000 donation from the Miami Bayside Foundation to assist with the remaining fixed costs. Partnering with Miami-Dade County Public Schools to implement this cutting-edge program allows students to obtain the skills and competencies necessary for sustainable careers in the boating and marine industry.
Education is key to opening doors to prosperity and is a gateway out of poverty. Our residents, especially youth, need programs like this to keep them in Miami, earning a living and proud of working in a historically beautiful industry.
Of equal importance is that these workers will come to see the viability of protecting the Miami River and the ocean. Sure, they’ll work on cruise ships that sail around the world, repair yachts and marine vessels, and figure out the logistics for super-large trade containers for imports and exports. And thanks to advancements in technology and science, they may also figure out how to get us out of some environmental messes, like algae bloom, water contamination, beach nourishment, sustainable fishing, coral reef protection and maybe even sea-level rise. There is no limit to an educated mind.
Join us at 11:30 a.m. Monday, Oct. 17 as we inaugurate this program at Lindsey Hopkins Technical College, 750 NW 20th St.
commissioner, District 3, Miami