Many of you may know or not know Esther Luft, who is member of this forum. Her business is under threat of development by the city of Miami. She runs Virginia Key Outdoor Center on the only remaining piece of undeveloped city property in Miami where they want to "pave paradise" with concrete docks and walkways seemingly to help her but they won't listen to Paddlers who really don't prefer concrete to natural beach launches! So it's more likely for the benefit of powerboats and possibly as expanded venue space for the Miami Boat Show and other similar big-money events. She needs Paddlers, bicyclists, picnickers and nature lovers to sign this petition. I've visited here and it really is a piece of old Florida full of birds and sea creatures with the downtown and South Beach skylines providing a nice backdrop. Lets help her keep the city from encroaching on this lagoon. Every urban area needs a place to get away from the concrete jungle...
To paraphrase from the petition what's at stake:
Dear Caring Miami Resident,
The City is ready to spend $3 MILLION dollars to pave over Jimbo's Lagoon park destroying the peaceful lagoon by building a long 40-60 ft. floating dock, bringing large vessel traffic and paving over much of the coastal area.
No longer will families and friends be able to enjoy picnics over a blanket, play safely on the grass, etc.
The City of Miami approved permits and has been negotiating the contract for a 40-60 foot long floating dock on the tranquil waters of Shrimper's (Jimbo's) lagoon, which the city and citizens had officially agreed in 2010 to keep a natural environment for kayakers, SUP, and other nature oriented outdoor activities.
The lagoon is a safe place for many manatees, rays, dolphins, nesting birds and other rare shore species. Motor boating in the shallow bay will destroy the sea grasses and disturb the animals greatly.
Also, the city approved permits to REMOVE trees and vegetation from the shore of the small green park, which is now being used to picnic, rent kayaks, sup, music festivals, BBQ etc., and pave walkways as well as the shoreline with a wide 15 foot cement sidewalk, which will destroy natural habitat for many Florida species of mammals, insects, reptiles, birds and plants. The existing wooded natural trail will be destroyed and paved over.
The city of Miami did not inform its own Virginia Key Advisory Board of these dealings until the permits for this huge dock and paving was approved.
We are asking the City Mayor Tomas Regalado and the Miami Commissioners to retract from these permits and go back to the pre-negotiated low impact use of this area.
The City contends that it will lose a $34,000 free grant it received from the federal government, but the entire project will costs over $1 MILION tax dollars.
This is a gross waste of Tax funds, while destroying nature.
It is also worth asking why is the city building such a huge dock when only kayakers, SUP and rowers are to use this basin? It is suspected that the city will use the dock to lure Boat Show (and other private events') VIPs to Virginia Key.
It was also recently published that the city has also been in closed door talks with a developer of a luxury building in Downtown, who wants to buy part of Virginia beach, build a private pavilion to be used by their VIP buyers, bringing them in a private yacht to the beach... arriving to.....the 60 ft. long dock?.... Yes, that is what we think.
This is a public park and we need to protect it. Please sign our petition so we can show our city government we are in disagreement with the destruction of this natural place and the gross use of tax dollar to do so. Thank you for caring!