Editor’s Note: This letter was emailed to Key Biscayne Village council members and leadership, including Village Superintendent Steve Williamson, and shared with Islander News.
Excerpt from Islander News, June 23, 2022, page 10
“It will be obvious that there is a line that you don’t necessarily want to cross…if a person chooses to walk or swim, if they get run over, it’s on them, unfortunately.” Remarks made during the Village Council meeting of June 14, 2022 by Roland Samimy, CRSO referring to the proposed ship exclusion zone. If they get run over, it’s on them.
I find it very difficult to accept that the entire Village Council and Village Management agree with this statement.
First, personal security is the obligation of government at all levels. We control the speed of vehicles on our roads to protect drivers, cyclists, etc. We have traffic lights, crosswalks, flashing amber lights to protect people crossing our streets. We enforce rules to protect residents walking on our sidewalks from speeding scooters. Shouldn’t we do the same for beachgoers and bathers?
Fortunately or unfortunately, Mother Nature has changed the character of our beach, especially in front of the Key Colony, Island House and Commodore condominiums. A major sand bar now exists at the northern end of our beach resulting in very shallow water at low tide. You are aware of this situation and I have sent photos documenting it. Therefore, even a child could walk, not swim, past the proposed beacons. And they do.
Should they be exposed to moving motorboats, jet skis and inexperienced kitesurfers?
Secondly, Mr. Samimy claims that the exclusion zone will be clearly marked. Maybe. How far apart do we space the buoys? Ten feet away??? Hopefully not, it will make for an ugly site. The spacing of the buoys will most likely be one hundred(s) feet apart, so one might wonder how obvious this demarcation will be.
There is a simple solution. Move the markers further 500 feet from shore in the northernmost part of our beach. The US Coast Guard said it would consider moving the markers 700 to 1,000 feet from shore due to shallow water. This will not totally eliminate the possibility of an accident, but it will reduce the likelihood of an accident as beach goers will be reluctant to walk so far from shore. No additional cost would be required.
NOTE: I did not attend the June meeting as I was out of state. My original intention was to attend the May Council meeting to present my concerns, but the Ship Exclusion Zone was dropped from the agenda.
Council members, village leadership, I repeat. Please let’s do the right thing by establishing the ship exclusion zone.
Julio J Diaz