Matheson Hammock, one of Miami’s best-known parks, is cherished for its scenic views, jogging trails and acres of protected mangroves.
For those of you who haven’t taken a trip to the park, you are missing out. You can take a dip in the water, ride your bike or rollerblade through the scenic trail, and enjoy gourmet dining at Red Fish Grill, just eight minutes away from campus.
Now imagine construction workers building a five-story boathouse of 3.4 million cubic feet in the middle of this iconic park, thus increasing traffic congestion, noise pollution and damage to the environment. There’s no need to keep imagining; this could soon become a reality.
Last December, a bill resurfaced for Coral Gables officials to begin the construction of this monstrosity of a boathouse inside the park. The first bill for the warehouse was proposed in 2008, but was rejected by the City of Coral Gables in 2009. So why is this plan even seeing light again?
The boathouse could potentially cause more than just noise and traffic on Old Cutler Road. Matheson’s mangroves supply our waters with nutrients and shelter for marine life. These swampy forests are critical to Miami’s ecology. With the construction of the boathouse, the mangroves may be depleted and our waters could become contaminated by chemicals and fuel.
Our own university has carried out many green initiatives. On-campus organizations such as Earth Alert and Green U promote environmentally friendly habits to ensure that our community is sustainable and responsible. We should follow in UM’s footsteps. As Coral Gables residents, we have a civic responsibility to voice our opposition against environmental degradation.
Sponsors of Save Our Matheson Hammock Park have created a petition to prove that the community is against the possible construction. Signing this petition means you’re against contaminated water, increased traffic congestion, noise pollution and damage to the ecosystem. It means you care enough to save one of the last surviving hammocks in Miami-Dade County. Visit saveourmathesonhammock.com to sign the petition.
Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.