OPINION: Miami Wilds Waterpark to Harm Habitat

Zoo Miami's Ron Magill weighs in on the development as a private citizen.

I voted for the water park back in 2006 but since then, we have learned a lot more about the critical habitat where the park may be built.  The developers of Miami Wilds have tried to justify this project by saying that they are not building in the Pine Rockland, but on already paved ground adjacent to it, suggesting that nothing built there can be detrimental to wildlife.  It is true that they won’t be building in the forest itself, but the ground that surrounds the forest is part of an important foraging area that endangered species need to survive and navigate through to get from one protected area to another.

The analogy is the you can protect my house where I sleep, rest and find shelter, but if you destroy the neighborhood surrounding it and the roads that allow me to get to food or to work, you in effect, eliminate my ability to survive and I either have to move or die.  These animals have nowhere else to go because they already live in the most critically endangered habitat in Florida so they have only one alternative – to die.  We cannot let that happen, because all the money in the world won’t bring them back and when we lose them, we lose a piece of ourselves.

Ron Magill, Private Citizen
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