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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Coconut Grove's shore without the mangroves

Please click on this image for a larger version.

I received an email from a reader yesterday, corroborating my claim that in the 1970s and 1980s and possibly before that, there were no mangroves along our shoreline.

Of course they could have been there 100 years ago, like most of Florida seems to have had, or maybe they were never there.

Here is the email I received after the story ran, and the photos below. If you click on the photos, they will open larger. The top, color photo, is a screen capture from the Cocaine Cowboys movie, so it is possibly the early '80s.

Hi Tom, Here are a couple of photos to go with a little blurb for the Grapevine on the Mangroves in the park.

The story I’ve heard from some of the old timers at Coconut Grove Sailing Club was that the city had the club plant all of the Mangroves along the waterfront in reparation for cutting down a big tree. The mangroves died and so they had to be planted again. Here are four pics from pre-1980 that show Peacock Park with palms and at least three pavilions along the waters-edge. The existing clubhouse was built in about 1980. You can see the previous Sailing Club structures in the photos, one of which was said to have been built from recovered parts from Pan Am airplane dock’s gang plank roof. Photos were provided to me by Club's first Rear Commodore Don Smith and John Ayer, who grew up at Sailing Club in the 1960s. I don't know who took them, but there are probably a lot more out there.

Paul van Puffelen
Past Commodore CGSC







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11 Comments:

Anonymous Jack said...

Great pictures. Thanks

June 13, 2017 9:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Pictures I would like to have the view back without the mangroves. It looks more inviting and open.

June 13, 2017 11:37 AM  
Anonymous swlip said...

Mangroves are a natural part of Florida's marine environment. Many were removed during the early development booms to improve the ocean views. No one at the time understood their importance.

It's interesting to see that people who like to call themselves environmentalists are more interested in preserving their lifestyles than they are in real conservation.

June 13, 2017 11:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Remember that the mangroves were breeding grounds for the mosquitoes whosr larva provided food for the fish. Landcrabs dug holes under and around them and proliferated and cut tires during full moons when they swarmed.The mosquitoes sometimes sward so much it turned the air black. Ah the good old days.

June 13, 2017 12:37 PM  
Blogger reid prevatt said...

That peacock park and the shelters pictures all looks man made to me. Could be wrong. Wish we still had the palms.

June 13, 2017 1:47 PM  
Blogger Tom Boyce said...

Mangroves provide a nursery for fish, provide oxygen while absorbing carbon from the atmosphere, clean the water, cool the earth, and help reduce storm surge during storms.

Respectfully
Tom Boyce

June 13, 2017 4:41 PM  
Anonymous Cathy Eignus said...

In the 50's and 60's the park had no mangroves. We could wade out into the bay and pick up black sea urchins, it was crystal clear. Then the magnificent palm trees died and were replaced by the little yellow palm trees from somewhere. The park was never the same.
P.S. The 'Not a robot' images to click on is a pain in the ...

June 13, 2017 6:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW - what great pics! I totally understand the relevance the mangroves play...but as you can see from these photos - the beauty of the bay and Atlantic are hidden behind these trees. Look at San Diego - they have preserved water lines with other means that preserve...but do not obstruct the views. - Mr. Coconut Grove

June 13, 2017 7:57 PM  
Anonymous Swlip said...

Mr. Coconut Grove:

What does San Diego have to do with it? Mangroves don't grow at that latitude, and have never been part of the marine environment of California.

June 14, 2017 1:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

North of Broward, people trim the mangroves down to waist high and carve them into designs. Why does DERM hold Dade/Monroe to high ridiculous standards?

The fish and shore line are protected by the roots. No reason to prevent trimming plants well above the roots....

Marc

June 14, 2017 9:19 AM  
Blogger Grovite said...

The entire shore was mangrove lined before we settled coconut grove. Like miami beach and brickel, Hundred year old and 100 foot plus mangrove hammocks were chopped down and back filled in the early 1900s.

Much of the grove shoreline including dinner key was bulkheaded and backfilled. Once they were gone they would ha e had to maintain the open view (mangroves would repopulate if let to their own). To suggest the pre environmental era of the 70s is something we should strive for is ridiculus.

It would be far more beneficial to pressure the city to retrofit the stormwater outfall pipes to trap all the trash, debris, oil, and grease that is dumping into the bay and piling in the mangroves. They should also to continue to remove exotics on the small island off dinner key and kennedy and peacock part while promoting natural trails and access by locals.

The role those mangroves play a much more important role them improving the view. Also pointing to counties with worse environmental reguation as a basis to trash our own environment is ridiculus. We should bestriving to improve and restore our coastline not destroy it. Whatsmore those mangroves need to be free to grow and become better established. They are going to be critical for sea level rise and protection from furture hurricanes (note a well maintained mangrove hammock can reduce hurricane force winds by 40mph).


Brickel hammock before... www.floridamemory.com/items/show/49985

Brickel hammock showing removal...
https://www.floridamemory.com/items/show/49989

Dredged backfil in post mangrove area
https://www.floridamemory.com/items/show/132399

June 23, 2017 4:22 PM  

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