An open letter by prominent attorney/environmentalist Maureen Brody Harwiz:
There are no "surplus" mangroves in Biscayne Bay waters. It's like saying there are surplus pinelands on Dade County land. It is outrageous for Governor Scott to treat these invaluable and essential mangrove wetlands as if they were excess inventory that needed to be cleared out.
Governor Scott, once again,through this proposed action of his agency, shows total ignorance and callous disregard for South Florida and its unique subtropical environment and its history.
Tropical Audubon led the fight to acquire the Land which is now the highly successful Oleta Park. Its membership was led by Tom Pafford and Harvey Abrams who worked unceasingly for the acquisition. Governor Bob Graham responded magnificently to the Audubon's campaign for purchase and made it a reality.
At the time of the Oleta site's purchase, the only dry land was a sprawling benign waste site, that had been used for casual and indiscriminate dumping for decades. Its environmental significance, a key criteria for all purchased state lands, was based SOLELY on the presence of the Oleta River and Biscayne Bay mangrove wetland forests --the last remaining stand of mangroves in North Biscayne Bay.
The Park's mangroves are located in two sections: one to the north of NE 151st Street (FIU entrance) abutting the Sunny Isles Causeway and along the meanders of the Oleta River; and the susbstantial forest to the east of the dike boundary of North Miami's notorious Munisport former Superfund site.
Maureen Brody Harwitz
Write to DEP tell them these 150 acres are not excess land and they are not for sale!