Victory | November 01 2017
New development in Miami Beach is a constant, but when the developers of the Marlborough House annouced plans to demolish an old building and replace it with a 17-story condo, they did not include beach access for the local community. At a public hearing, the local review board requested that a beach access pathway be added to the development plans. The developers attorney, Michael Larkin, suggested that if that's was the city wants, they would be required to pay $4.2 million for this public right of way. Thus began the Miami Chapter's campaign to ensure public access for the local community, without costing local taxpayers millions of dollars.
Many local residents spoke in support of public beach access, including Surfrider Foundation Miami Executive Committee member, Scott Stripling, saying “it is the public's right to have proper access for all to enjoy the beach.” Additionally, retired City of Miami Beach Lt. Lifeguard Leigh Emerson-Smith spoke out to share that the beach area in front of the building calls for a lifeguard stand in place. She noted that statistically, drownings occur when there are wide gaps between lifeguard stations. This area requires one for the safety of the community.
In the end, the developers agreed to add a 15-foot wide path for public beach access! Surfrider Foundation Miami also is working with the project manager to guide them on a dune restoration project to ensure the dune ecosystem is structurally sound and incorporates with native plants.
Our beaches mean so much to us. They are where we live, where we work, and where we come to play. Our beaches are the entryway to our ocean and we believe that beaches should be accessible to everyone. This is why our network of staff experts, volunteers, and members are determined to keep our beaches accessible for all to enjoy.Learn More