The National Marine Manufacturers Association has threatened that if they do not get their D.E.R.M. permit approved by Miami-Dade there will be no boat show in Feb. 2016.
Alternative locations are certainly available. There’s Marlins Stadium and the still vacant old Bertram Yacht warehouses on the Miami River. The site on Virginia Key is problematic. The Marine Basin is environmentally sensitive and abuts the Bill Sadowsky Critical Wildlife area — Miami-Dade’s pristine sanctuary to many endangered species. The basin is part of the Biscayne Bay aquatic preserve.
The boat show’s insistence on water taxis threaten our endangered manatees during their prime warm water aggregation period in these waters. Public use of property deeded by Miami-Dade will be sequestered for private purposes for up to 90 days. A barrier island is being paved over to create a farce called a “flex park” to accommodate the boat show.
Slow growing mangroves have already been “accidentally” destroyed. The boat show asks too much of Miami-Dade. We are not against the show. This is just the wrong location.
Steven Leidner, Miami