City of Miami, FL

07/09/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/09/2024 09:26

Reopening of Spoil Islands with Enhanced Enforcement

Reopening of Spoil Islands with Enhanced Enforcement

Published on July 09, 2024

The City of Miami is pleased to announce the reopening of the four Spoil Islands, Osprey Island, Morningside Island, Pace Picnic Island, and Willis Island, on Biscayne Bay, set to take place at sunrise on Friday, July 12, 2024. In line with our commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainable recreation, the reopening will feature enhanced enforcement measures and a renewed focus on the responsible enjoyment of these treasured natural areas.

Key Measures Include:

  1. Enhanced Patrols: The Miami Police Marine Patrol will conduct multiple daily sweeps to prevent boats from anchoring to trees, cite illegal vendors, prohibit styrofoam items, and ensure no after-hours use.

  2. Educational Outreach: Miami Parks and Recreation staff and volunteers will educate visitors on responsible recreation practices for the first two weekends. Interested volunteers can sign up at Volunteer Cleanup Events by searching "Miami Parks Day on the Bay."

  3. New Signage: English and Spanish (bilingual) park rule signs with illustrations will be installed throughout the islands.

  4. Ongoing Monitoring: A contracted vendor will record debris collected, helping assess the effectiveness of the "Leave No Trace" campaign.

"Safeguarding the health of our Spoil Islands which we are reopening after a robust 'Leave No Trace' educational campaign and closure remains a priority," said Mayor Francis X. Suarez. "It is our hope that through the newly implemented measures our residents and visitors will continue to enjoy our waterways while protecting them."

In addition to these immediate changes, we are also pursuing long-term strategies to further protect and enhance our waterfront parks. This includes an enhanced Park Ranger program, as well as applying with the Florida Inland Navigation District (FIND) and other sources for funding to support clean-up and debris removal programs. We are also researching to potentially establish designated swim zones near Pace Picnic Island and Willis Island where appropriate.

"Our City is working diligently to strike the right balance between public access to these beautiful islands and our responsibility to protect them. It takes the full collaboration of the city and its visitors and residents to ensure these islands are preserved and protected for future generations," said Commissioner Damian Pardo.

Important Notice: Compliance with the new rules is essential. Continued disregard for these regulations will necessitate the indefinite closure of the islands to safeguard these precious natural resources. By working together, we can ensure that the Spoil Islands remain a cherished part of Miami's natural heritage for generations to come.