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Daily updates on what's up in Coconut Grove and beyond including Brickell, Coral Gables and Midtown Miami

Sunday, July 27, 2014

When you could see the water

There was an argument going on in the comments section (isn't there always) about whether there was ever more of a water view in Coconut Grove. I don't know if people mean ever or in the past few decades. This photo above was making the rounds in social media this week, it was taken in Kennedy Park in 1978, it sort of looks like an ad or something, I vaguely remember it. But anyway, you can see the water and I'm not sure if that's Key Biscayne in the background or Grove Isle being built. But I think Grove Isle was done a year or so before.

I also remember being in Peacock Park in the 1980s, and the water's edge did not have any bushes or mangroves there, I remember you could go right up to the water. There were about three shelters, too; picnic tables with shelters, I believe they were blue. The baseball diamond backed up to that area, home plate was sort of against the water a bit. I remember them filming the Sally Field movie, "Absence of Malice, there at the baseball diamond. If you watch the movie, you can probably see the open water behind home plate. At least I think that's what I remember.

I believe the mangroves that are in all the Grove parks now were mitigation for something done by developers, tree removal or whatnot, just something that they needed to return to the city/Grove for some damage that they did in the 1990s. Not sure whose bright idea it was to block the water, but I'm betting they felt it would be protection from storms. Anyway, someone asked for photos, I only came up with the one above, but check "Absence of Malice" out and if someone wants to take some screen shots or send a video of just that section of the movie, we would all love to see it.

Below is just a cool photo of the Cape Florida lighthouse on Key Biscayne which many of us can see from the Grove's shoreline. It's from 1908, according to the text below the photo. It was constructed in 1825. 



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16 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw no reason to close the 1st blog. I've lived in the Grove since 1965, & moved here to dive for lobster in Government Cut. My 1st day in Miami lead me to Virginia Key/Bear Cut & even more lobster. Since then I've dove from Fort Pierce to Key West & beyond. NO ONE can state, write or claim not to have views of Biscayne Bay or the Florida Straits/Atlantic Ocean from the Grove or other locations close to the Grove. To do so is to be out of touch with reality! Jobie Steppe

July 27, 2014 1:30 PM  
Blogger Sledge said...

Right, early 80s you could see lots of open water from Peacock park and North, all the way up from McFarlane, where Jonnhy Rockets is..

Not to mention the other parks, not to mention most of the construction blocking the water for 5 entire miles, from the Gables Cartagena Plaza (circle) up to the Rickenbacker in K.Biscayne.. Most of that has been built gradually, the past few decades, getting worse every year.

As of today you can hardly add up, piece by piece, no more than 100 or so yards of water views, total, if you drive those 5 miles that were, relatively recently, open. And that's if you know all the tricks, and drive back around Mercy Hospital, into Grove Isle and such.

Thank God the sacred Mangroves are protecting our fragile bay side ecosystem.. Lol..

July 27, 2014 3:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Something should be done to get DERM or whoever to ok the removal the mangroves. It's sort of too late to "mitigate" 100 years of unfettered development by allowing a couple of 100 yards of mangroves to grow on public parks. It doesn't really serve an ecological purpose.

July 27, 2014 3:56 PM  
Blogger Sledge said...

Good luck with Deem guys..I've tried for years, it has been talked about at City Hall, commissioners know, they approved "windows" to trim them, bs..same as that huge study wasting your tax money, to clean up Kennedy park and eradicate around 950 detrimental, invasive plants shrubs and trees, opening up more "windows" that, well, flew put of the window too, what can I say on the run now..

July 27, 2014 4:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mangroves also block the view near Monty's and the wooden fantail flag pole section of Shake A Leg right where the marina begins.

July 27, 2014 6:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nothing new. The way sledge spams the comments with the same post makes it seem like the entire coast was open at one time, which it hasn't been for a long time - if ever actually. Fact of the matter is that these sacred water views are man made. Whether by trees or buildings, the view of the water from anywhere right up on shore has been blocked from way before our lifetimes.

July 27, 2014 11:49 PM  
Anonymous swlip said...

Why do so many Groveites hate trees?

July 28, 2014 7:59 AM  
Blogger Tony Scornavacca Jr. said...

It's actually a shame that you can't see much water from Peacock Park, Meyers Park, or Kennedy Park. .. As a kid, I used to skim stones at the end of McFarlane Road.

July 28, 2014 11:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the amount of people on this blog with no knowledge or education on a subject matter, who opine as experts. Mangroves do serve a very specific and important ecological purpose, and keep the shore from eroding into the sea, as all of the beaches in florida continually do, thereby requiring them to be built back up every few years.

But hey, don't let facts or information get in your way.

July 29, 2014 10:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@10:37
We're well aware of what mangroves do, but where along Kennedy Park and Peacock Park is there a danger of erosion? Most of the shore is artificial and made up of spoil and dredging to create fill for development. I could understand if mangroves were protecting barrier islands and keys, but it really is doing nothing but making a handful of bureaucrats feel good about making amends for nearly 100 years of reckless development.

July 29, 2014 11:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The CUBAN Government recently announced that it will greatly increase mangrove acreage across Cuba & claim that mangroves are the cheapest, most effective method to combat the rising seas. And if U go underwater and stick you head & facemask into the roots of mangroves I promise you if you stay at least 10 minutes U will see sea life [millions & millions] of baby fish, stone crabs, lobster, snapper, grouper, flounders, snails; then look up into the branches and you'll see hawks, baby birds and all kinds of spiders, plus much, much more. And if you take a walk or bike ride from Peacock Park, North down past Bayside you can see the entire bay and out on Key Biscayne or S. Beach or the Keys you can see the ocean as far as your eyes can see. PS. But the 1st thing U have to do is get outside and away from the internet & your negative comments.

Jobie Steppe

July 29, 2014 12:29 PM  
Blogger Sledge said...

OF COURSE Mangroves are beneficial to coastal ecosystems, all 3 varieties we have here in the Grove, at 3 different levels.

The point is to remove a FEW in a few key spots, like those by the boardwalk on Peacock park, etc. Trust me, in case of a hurricane, the tide wouldn't wash away your houses if we trim a few sacred, (ugly, unless you photograph them up close with light/shade tricks) mangroves.

And out of a TrillionBillion Mangroves all over the 5 miles of Grove former Bayside, if we trim a few dozen, open "windows", as the City falsy promised many times, approved by Derm, or take out a few (as they did revently on a small area on Kennedy park, by the outdoor gym).. Trust me, the fishies and birdies, and wild life we all adore would do JUST FINE.

July 30, 2014 7:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I completely agree with Sledge. I don't understand how less than a half mile of mangrove that is divided among three public parks, Kennedy, Peacock, and the narrow one in between with all the exercise equipment, and the bit near Shake a Leg, is environmentally sensitive coastal wetland that requires mangroves.

July 30, 2014 9:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@9:13 - because that's all that is left. We've filled all the other space with concrete and docks, etc.

No one will be happy until the whole thing looks as natural as the Brady's back yard.

Sledge - a few "windows" is a compromise, but require significant upkeep. You are fighting against nature. If it's so easy and harmless I can't imagine it can't get done, but...

July 30, 2014 5:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@5:22
All we have left? What about Key Biscayne National Park? Crandon Park around Bear Cut? It isn't all we have left because as the picture of the man riding his bike at Kennedy proves, the mangrove were allowed to encroach, they weren't "saved" and they don't protect anything because the shore is mainly rip rap and concrete.

The windows can't get done because of DERM, and that's how this whole conversation got started.

July 30, 2014 5:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@5:55 - the picture of the guy riding his bike only shows what it shows, which does not include the dynamic changes before or after the instant it was taken.

It certainly does not prove that the precise area pictured wasn't cleared and cut at some point prior. Miami was a swampy jungle.

August 01, 2014 5:29 PM  

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