New Soccer Site May Impact Aquatic Life

Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, and soccer star David Beackham have zeroed in on a stadium site next to the AmericanAirlines Arena.

But, one thing they may not have considered about the new site of a proposed soccer park is the aquatic life currently living there.

“Miami-Dade County is such a water society,” said Mike Beach of Miami-Dade Reef Guard. “I think people forget about fishing. They forget about what’s under it and how important it is to the rest of us. Not only sharks, but other things that we strive to protect need protection.”

Beach recently snorkeled in the area of the FEC slip and found fish, coral, lobsters, even a nurse shark in the slip. He said it’s just a small sample of the wildlife under the area where the proposed stadium would be built.

The bottom of the bay is part of the Miami-Dade Aquatic Preserve which is protected by state law from any development. However, if voters gave the thumbs up to the Miami Beckham United stadium project, an exception to the law could be made.

Regalado and Gimenez stand behind the FEC slip proposed site for the new soccer park. The area has been untouched since 2009 when millions were spent fixing the slip’s sea wall. Beckham’s group appears ready to change the scenery, but Beach is asking everyone to slow down.

“There are lots of things we could do I think, and if we could take it back, would we take back the $15 million probably and have seafront here, but this is what we have now and I think we have to learn to live with it rather than cover it up.”

A referendum vote is possible later this year.

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