FYI Miami: August 1, 2019
Below are some of the FYIs in this week’s edition. The entire content of this week’s FYIs and Insider sections is available by subscription only. To subscribe click here.
$1 LAND FOR CORPS PROJECT: The US Army Corps of Engineers will add another South Dade study site to an ongoing Everglades restoration project. Miami-Dade lawmakers voted unanimously in July to approve an item sponsored by Commissioner Dennis Moss to lease the Corps 5 acres for $1 at Southwest 152nd Street and 212th Avenue, where it plans to install and monitor a groundwater well for five years. The Corps needs the well to supplement groundwater monitoring stations west of the L-31 Canal and Levee, which abut the Biscayne Aquifer, Deputy Mayor Jack Osterholt wrote. Those combined activities are part of a larger project upon which “the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan [is building] to deliver essential restoration benefits to America’s Everglades,” according to a Corps webpage, which said funding of the project comes from the Corps with cooperation from the South Florida Water Management District, US Geological Society and Rapid Creek Research.
VIOLENT CRIME ON RISE: Violent crime reported in areas patrolled by the Miami-Dade Police Department rose more than 12% in the first half of the year, latest figures show. Forcible sex offenses rose nearly 21% to total 382, robberies increased in more than 19% to 678 and aggravated assaults rose nearly 9% to 1,845. The only decline among violent crimes was homicides which declined more than 13% to 39 deaths. Non-violent serious crimes declined nearly 4%. The county report does not state the causes of change. The figures do not include areas patrolled by municipal police departments.
SEAWEED QUICK FIX: Miami-Dade beaches are “under assault from a record amount of seaweed,” Mayor Carlos Giménez told county commissioners July 23, adding that the problem affecting the eastern seaboard of the US and the Caribbean is “particularly critical at hotspots where jetties and breakwaters cause large amounts of seaweed to accumulate without an ability to substantially mitigate it.” He said he would authorize the parks and internal services departments to contract now to remove seaweed from those hotspots and seek retroactive commission approval in September. In early July, the BBC reported that the seaweed bloom – known as Sargassum, a genus of brown sea algae known for its planktonic species – is the world’s largest, according to satellite observations. Mr. Giménez said he supported the county’s effort to have the state allow long-term permits to clean up seaweed rather than short-term permits typical for such work, as extended efforts are needed to fix the problem. “Pulling state permits every two weeks simply does not recognize the new normal that we are facing,” he said. “Keeping our beaches clean from sargassum is a month-to-month, continuous process, and we need the state’s support.”