The Ink is Dry! 129 Acres of Local Coastal Wetlands Saved for Restoration Efforts

This land is now in public hands because of grass roots community action. Tenacity throughout a long process at multiple levels of government is what it took to keep this last piece of coastal green from seemingly inevitable development. Heartfelt gratitude to all who contributed to this outcome!

Locals traveled to the Seminole Reservation in Okeechobee and spoke once again to support acquisition and advocate for educational/recreational public access on the property. Tropical Audubon as well as elected officials, government agencies and non-profit organizations also spoke or wrote once again to highlight the public good that will be served by acquisition of the property.

The South Florida Water Management District Governing Board:
-voted unanimously to authorize the settlement deal
-approved acquisition of 129.88 acres
-acted to access funds from the Save Our Everglades Trust Fund
-approved wetland restoration costs

This action demonstrates commitment to CERP/Biscayne Bay Coastal Wetlands and to the longterm health and well being of our residents and to fragile coastal habitats. BBCW aims to:
-restore wetlands
-improve natural fresh water flows to Biscayne Bay
-reduce salinity in the Bay
-rebuild coastal estuaries
-protect Biscayne National Park
-protect our water supply
-sustain the economic viability of the bay

Celebration planned for Saturday, March 27th at Tropical Audubon's Moonlight Concert at the Doc Thomas House. 5530 Sunset Dr., South Miami, 7pm. (305) 667-7337
Let's pop some corks and raise a glass in toast to this community victory!


Governing Board Votes Unanimously to Settle Lawsuit and Acquire Local Coastal Land for BBCW

Locals in West Palm, expecting no deal, a permit denial or yet another deferral, were shocked when yesterday after three years the South Florida Water Management District Governing Board, voted to accept a settlement that was in negotiation just minutes before. The board voted unanimously to settle with the property owner and acquire 122 acres for 24.5 million contingent upon paperwork satisfaction within the next month. This action represents a significant investment in Phase II of the Biscayne Bay Coastal Wetlands Project and a commitment to protect our neighboring national parks, local coastal resources, water supply and the economic viability of our area.

Every action large and small that Palmetto Bay and Cutler Bay residents took to advocate for our area counted. It's just sinking in. No celebrations planned until the ink is dry. Updates to follow...

Beth Kibler, Old Cutler South
Palmetto Bay

Tom Condon
Cutler Bay

Dr. Amy Roda
Cutler Bay

Eduardo Varona
Cutler Bay


Herald article on 1/10 Gov Board meeting

1/10 SFWMD Governing Board Meeting

After two closed-door attorney-client sessions and a lot of hallway negotiations it all ended with another deferral, extending this three year process to allow for yet more negotiation with the seller of the property. On the other hand, it also seemed to be the case that the board's patience is running out over these ongoing extensions and their rationales. Next meeting Feb. 10th in West Palm Beach.

The number of persons who personally attended the hearing to speak surprised the Board members and others associated with the process, especially after three years. Board members commented on the overwhelming number of email they each received in just a three day period. Thanks to all who took action to send a clear message to the board about how important Biscayne Bay and our coastal wetlands are to our area. Special thanks to those who took off work and and drove to Key Biscayne to participate!

Our communities were supported by numerous elected officials, government agencies and non-profit organizations. In attendance to speak in favor of the resolution, and thereby reflecting your concerns, were:

Miami-Dade Commissioner Katy Sorensen
Mayor Eugene Flynn, Palmetto Bay
Mayor Paul Vrooman, Cutler Bay
Vice Mayor Ed MacDougall, Cutler Bay
Councilman Tim Meerbott, Cutler Bay
Department of the Interior
Biscayne National Park
Tropical Audubon Society
National Parks Conservation Association
Clean Water Action
Florida Audubon Society

Hopefully a resolution will be reached soon. Update next month.


Act Now to Save Cutler Coastal Wetlands

400 More Houses on Coastal Wetlands OR Protection of Biscayne Bay And Everglades Restoration?

Exactly 3 years ago residents of Cutler Bay and Palmetto Bay organized to stop over-development along Old Cutler. The hundreds of locals that wrote and attended meetings stopped development of this property at the county level. Now the same development application is before our state water board this Thursday in Key Biscayne.

Both the developer and the South Florida Water Management District are hoping our community has forgotten...

You can help preserve 122 ACRES and the last piece of green between Biscayne Bay and Old Cutler Road:

#1 - Email the South Florida Water Management District Governing Board members NOW.
Emails must be received by the board members before Wednesday!!! Letters must focus on environmental issues as this board makes decisions based only on environmental criteria. In a simple one or two line email, tell the board you expect them to:

* vote YES on Discussion Agenda #26, Resolution 2010-111.
* settle the lawsuit with Cutler Properties
* acquire 122 acres of coastal wetlands to enable Bay and Everglades restoration

Email: ebuermann@sfwmd.gov, jmontgom@sfwmd.gov, jcollins@sfwmd.gov, mcollins@sfwmd.gov, cdauray@sfwmd.gov, sestenoz@sfwmd.gov, kpowers@sfwmd.gov, prooney@sfwmd.gov

IMPORTANT: Please cc the clerk and OCS to make sure your email makes it into the record: jmcgorty@sfwmd.gov, oldcutlersouth@gmail.com

#2 - Attend the Governing Board meeting Thursday.
This is it. We need folks to show up at this meeting to let the State Water Board know that they have to represent Miami Dade, make decisions that protect our neighboring national parks and our local coastal resources. Miami Dade has been short a representative for years so your action at this time can make or break outcomes for these wetlands! Locals are taking off work and hope you will too. Luckily the meeting is here in Dade Co. at the Key Biscayne Village Chambers on 88 West McIntyre Street. The meeting starts at 9am but the item will likely be heard after lunch.

Questions? Review history of this development application on cutlerbay.net, livablecutler or contact Beth Kibler at oldcutlersouth@gmail.com/ 786-877-6489.
Please forward this information to your contacts to help get the word out!