VIDEO: Protecting two national parks requires making the right call in Homestead

Our longtime board member Alan Farago summed it up earlier today: "We’re in a fight to protect and preserve what we have and not to just let the goal posts change whenever it's politically convenient." During today's Clean Water Conversation, we tackled development pressure in Homestead — an area that is uniquely situated between Biscayne National Park and Everglades National Park and includes some of the last remaining expanses of green space in Miami-Dade County. This pressure is not new. Two decades ago, Friends of the Everglades strongly opposed expanded aviation at the Homestead Air Reserve Base, leading to an eventual rejection of commercial aviation by the Air Force. Now, we're working to combat new plans for more air traffic [...]

Miami-Dade County Urged to Protect Exisiting Urban Development Boundary

On December 7, Friends of the Everglades joined Tropical Audubon Society and Everglades Law Center in sending letters to the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners and the Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources to express concerns regarding the application to expand the Urban Development Boundary (UDB) in Miami-Dade County to create the South Dade Logistics and Technology District (SDLTD). We have many concerns regarding this application, not least of which is the threat it will pose to Everglades National Park, Biscayne Bay, and existing and future Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Projects and goals. The environmental damages caused by the construction of the proposed SDLTD are disqualifying and we urge the Board of County Commissioners to deny the application. To read the [...]

Everglades Illustrated: Dangerous development threatens the Everglades

The map above tells the story of a looming threat to Biscayne Bay. Developers in Miami-Dade County are pushing to convert 794 acres of “farmland of unique importance” to 9 million square feet of industrial development. This green space sits outside the county’s Urban Development Boundary, and within Coastal High Hazard Area — which is “among the areas least suitable for urban development” due to storm surge vulnerabilities, according to county staff. Despite a scathing report by the County’s own planning and environmental staff about the dangers posed by the South Dade Technology & Logistics project, the Board of County Commissioners voted September 9 to transmit the proposal to the state for review. In a shocking display of one-sided politics, [...]

2021-09-14T14:13:30-04:00September 14th, 2021|Everglades Illustrated, Homestead Air Reserve Base|

Friends of the Everglades to Miami-Dade County: Hold the Line on current Urban Development Boundary

The following letter submitted on behalf of Friends of the Everglades outlines concerns about the application filed by Aligned Real Estate Holdings and South Dade Industrial Partners. The application is scheduled for consideration at the Sept. 9 Miami- Dade County Commission meeting. Reports, comments and recommendations of the County's own staff have detailed why this proposal would be a bad public policy choice for the County for this location and at this time. As the County works along with state and federal agencies in the herculean effort to protect the County’s existing public and private investments from sea level rise and salt water intrusion, and restore the health of Biscayne Bay, replacing 800 acres of flood prone natural land outside [...]

Miami-Dade County should deny application to expand Urban Development Boundary

As a member of the Hold the Line Coalition, Friends of the Everglades signed on to the following letter urging Miami-Dade County Commissioners to "deny and do not transmit" an application filed by the Aligned Real Estate Holdings LLC and South Dade Industrial Partners LLC that would allow for the building of a 794-acre industrial complex on agricultural property that sits outside of the county's Urban Development Boundary. The development not only represents unnecessary threats to Biscayne Bay and Everglades National Park, but also could create additional pressure to bring cargo jets to the nearby Homestead Air Reserve Base. The County's own Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources' Planning staff wisely recommends that this application be denied. We could not [...]

We need your help to stop an 800-acre development on farmland in Homestead

There's a swath of farmland in Homestead that represents some of the last remaining green space in Miami-Dade County. It's not far from Biscayne Bay and the Florida Keys. It sits outside the county's Urban Development Boundary. Yet developers want to build a 794-acre industrial complex on the agricultural property — posing a needless threat to Biscayne Bay and, potentially, Everglades restoration efforts. The proposal also could create additional pressure to bring cargo jets to the nearby Homestead Air Reserve Base, a dangerous idea. Luckily, the county's own staff has wisely recommended the Board of County Commissioners deny this development application. We need commissioners to follow that advice. If you're a resident of Miami-Dade County, we're making it easy for [...]

2021-08-17T11:52:53-04:00August 17th, 2021|Action Alerts, Homestead Air Reserve Base|

Environmental groups ask President Biden to Stop Expansion of Homestead Air Reserve Base

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 5, 2021 Contact: Eve Samples, eve.samples@everglades.org, 772-485-8164 **PRESS RELEASE** DEAR PRESIDENT BIDEN: Stop the Expansion of Homestead Air Reserve Base  MIAMI—Today seven national and regional organizations delivered a letter to President Joe Biden requesting his intervention to halt any actions by the US Air Force that could lead to the installation of commercial and private cargo operations at the Homestead Air Reserve Base in Southern Florida at the edge of America’s most threatened national parks. Everglades Restoration is the most ambitious program to restore a dying ecosystem in the world. Environmentalists have long opposed local government’s intent to convert the air base in Florida for industrial, private commerce, despite a decades long controversy that involved dozens [...]

Everglades Illustrated: An Everglades threat looms in Homestead

The Everglades is vast, and restoration is complex. We’re breaking it down visually for you. A development frenzy is gaining momentum near Homestead Air Reserve Base in southern Miami-Dade County — and it poses a direct threat to nearby Biscayne Bay. As you can see from the map above, the proposed South Dade Logistics and Technology District (marked with a red star) lies just west of Biscayne Bay, on 800 acres currently used as farmland. If that proposal wasn’t alarming enough, now a Miami-Dade County Commissioner is pushing to convert another 700 acres of agricultural land near the Homestead air base to industrial use. “We can have an industrial revolution in South Miami-Dade County,” Commissioner Kionne McGhee told the Miami Herald. With [...]

Friends of the Everglades urges US Air Force to reject commercial aviation at Homestead Air Base

Construction of the Everglades Jetport (another ill-conceived airport proposal near Everglades National Park) was halted in 1970 — after a single runway was built. Now a familiar threat resurfaces at Homestead Air Reserve Base. Friends of the Everglades stands in unity with several environmental advocacy groups against Miami-Dade County's overtures to enter a Joint Use Agreement enabling non-military aviation at Homestead Air Reserve Base, due to the environmental and economic impacts articulated in the attached letter. Friends has been involved closely in efforts to protect and restore the sensitive ecosystems near the base and have watched with concern the County's recent efforts to use the HARB facility for industrial purposes. It is clear to us that opening up [...]

Friends of the Everglades Opposes Changes to Miami-Dade’s Urban Development Boundary

The following comments, opposing changes to Miami-Dade County's urban development boundary (UDB), were submitted on behalf of Friends of the Everglades by attorney Richard Grosso. CLICK HERE to read the comments in full. Repealing the systematic approach to UDB amendments that has existed for years would  greatly harm the comprehensive part of comprehensive planning in Miami-Dade County. The  UDB is the cornerstone of the County’s land use planning approach that is so necessary to protect  its fragile and increasingly scarce farmland, Biscayne Bay and Everglades national parks and  ecosystems. Considering UDB amendment applications on a consistent schedule allows for a  holistic approach to planning and reflects the fact that such amendments should be rarely granted.   To change this long-standing approach [...]