Saturday, October 7, 2017

MPRC October Meeting - Oct. 26th 

The October Meeting of the Miami Pine Rocklands Coalition, featuring updates on Hurricane Irma Damage to this globally imperiled Habitat and its' impact on the unique plants and animals only found here and nowhere else in the world. With possible Federal Kill Permits imminent, what can we do together to keep the largest Pine Rocklands Habitat outside of Everglades National park from being paved over for more urban sprawl.

Join us at the Tropical Audubon Society's "Doc Thomas" House,  5530 Sunset Drive, Miami, FL 33143

Thursday October 26th @ 7pm


Thursday, August 10, 2017

MPRC August General Meeting - Action for the Pine Rocklands

The Miami Pine Rocklands Coalition will hold its August General Meeting on Thursday August 24th 7PM at Tropical Audubon's Doc. Thomas House at 5530 Sunset Dr, Miami, FL 3314.

We will discuss the latest pn the Richmond Pine Rocklands preservation efforts as well as a new project aimed at developing alternative designs/uses for the Richmond Pine Rocklands to preserve them and educate future generations about its uniqueness.
We'll also discuss Krome Avenues'/DOT Plans to pave over portions of a declared EEL Pine Rockland Habitat, and what if anything we can still do to save as much as possible from being developed for expanded roadway.

If anyone has any interest, they can twist my arm about my recent week long Cruise/Snorkeling/Hiking Expedition thru the Galapagos Islands. I was impressed how Ecuador and everyone I met was dedicated to preserving Habitat and giving "Mother Nature" Constitutional Rights not offered here.

See You on the 24th, and let me know if you have any other ideas for our last Summer Meeting before a very busy Fall.
Al Sunshine
Miami Pine Rocklands Coalition

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Public Hearing for the Richmond Pine Rocklands

We have two important announcements below to inform you about.
  • First the Miami-Dade Commission Meeting set for Tuesday April 18th Discussing the Walmart/Ram Project.
  • Next, Because of a refusal by the Federal Government to hold an open, public hearing in South Florida, a coalition of environmental groups have banded together to sponsor their own public hearing on April 25th at the Deering Estate.
Read these important announcements below!

Action Alert: As of Yesterday, Wednesday April 12th, Miami Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez has an item on next Tuesday's April 18th Miami Dade Commission Meeting about the Walmart/Ram Project.
170848 Report
WE NEED TO SPEAK OUT ON THIS ISSUE AND MONITOR POSSIBLE COMMISSION ACTION CLOSELY. Also, there will be a speaking opportunity to voice our continued concerns about the project and possible "issues" we have with allowing it to be built in an endangered pine rocklands.

Mayoral report 2b1 federal action on endangered species is what we need to comment on during the public speaking section. We do NOT want an automatic release of the local permits IF the Feds issue "Take" permits to kill endangered species there. There are too many questions about possible omissions and possible mis-statements made in the zoning process. We want answers and a full public hearing locally by Miami Dade into how the land was allowed to be rezoned without ANY mention in the process of the endangered species there. We're facts Intentionally omitted or ignored so the land could be rezoned for a strip mall? Why when the um knew for a decade about endangered species there was it not disclosed tomiami Dade zoning officials? Why have Miami Dade environmental officials not allowed access to the property to conduct independent surveys of their own? In the zoning process was ere any disclosures of the nuclear waste violations there and massive federal clean ups and fines against U of Miami? Did Miami Dade know it was being asked to approve a huge development in a former radioactive contaminated site?

Why were there no disclosures apparently made weeks before the zoning was changed, a federal register notice was published listing the land as endangered habitat to be protected under the endangered species act? Why did UM refuse years ago consider allowing the land to be bought byMiami Dade to be preserved, and reportedly threatened Miami Dade environmental workers with lawsuits?

Too many remaining questions that must be answered before local building permits allow the bulldozers to start working there.
Feel free to copy and distribute this and send out to all our Miami Dade Elected Officials BEFORE next Tuesday's meeting.
Our voices must be heard and developers /lobbyists $$$$ shouldn't silence them.

Breaking News:
Following the Federal Governments' refusal to hold an open, public hearing in South Florida, a coalition of environmental groups have  banded together to sponsor their own Public Hearings.
The event is scheduled for April 25 at Deering Estate from 6 thru 8 pm.
Details to follow.
The Public Hearing is aimed at allowing local residents the opportunity to learn about the pending Coal Reef Commons project proposed in the globally imperiled Richmond Pine Rocklands.
The project includes a Walmart, 900 unit apartment complex and strip mall.
A formal comment period for public statements runs thru May 22nd.
While federal officials are soliciting comments online and thru the mail, they have declined to schedule a public hearing reportedly saying it's not cost effective.
The Public hearing at Deering is being sponsored by a collation of environmental groups at their own expense. Donations are welcome.
More info will follow as the Pine Rocklands Public Hearing approaches.

Our voices will be heard.
"Save  it don't Pave It"

Please distribute this information as widely as possible.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

59 Days to comment - Save the PineRocklands

Dear Friends:

The clock is ticking and we now have 59 days to let the Feds know what WE think about this horrible project.
We can make a difference if we choose to.
"Save it, Don't Pave It!"
Please consider printing this out and sending it as a letter and email.
Send via Email and Certified Mail Return Receipt

March 24, 2017

David Dell
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Atlanta Regional Office,
1875 Century Blvd.
Atlanta, GA 30345

Ashleigh Blackford
South Florida Ecological Services
1339 20th Street
Vero Beach, FL 32960

Re: Request for Local Public Hearing on FWS-R4-ES-2016-N223, Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Incidental Take Permit Application and Environmental Assessment for Commercial Mixed-Use Development; Miami-Dade County, FL and 90 Day Public Comment Request.

Dear Mr. Dell and Ms. Blackford,
As a concerned Florida Resident I respectfully request a public hearing on the above-referenced proposed incidental take permit and environmental assessment on the commercial mixed-use development locally known as Coral Reef Commons.

We request that this public hearing take place during the comment period and in a location and timeframe that ensures members of the public will be able to meaningfully participate.

As you are aware, native habitats in Florida are rapidly disappearing.

Perennially rare communities, such as the pine rocklands that would be impacted by Coral Reef Commons, are among the native habitats in Florida that have been drastically reduced in area.

Pine rockland is a globally endangered plant community with more than 98 percent decline in its pre-settlement area due to significant ecological degradation, conversion to other land uses, and outright destruction.

This important community provides vital habitat for many endangered species, including those at issue in this permit application.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's (Service) review of the Coral Reef Commons application requires compliance with the Endangered Species Act, National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and Administrative Procedure Act.

The Service's Habitat Conservation Planning and Incidental Take Permit Processing Handbook (2016) (hereinafter, Handbook), a policy document intended to inform how the Service processes Endangered Species Act Section 10 incidental take permits, describes public hearings as: [a] common method for soliciting stakeholder input on agency actions. Hearings provide all or selected participants an opportunity to present their opinions on an issue, usually in a formal manner in an allotted amount of time . . . . The information is recorded and becomes part of the public record. Laws and agency regulations often mandate public hearings.
Likewise, the Handbook describes public meetings as:
[f]orums in which our staff can present information to interested stakeholders.

Many public meetings . . . are designed to encourage discussion and feedback. Public meetings can be very effective and useful for conveying information, educating the interested public, and identifying interested parties.
This guidance echoes the requirements of NEPA, which at every turn emphasize the importance of public participation.

The Council on Environmental Quality's (CEQ) regulations implementing NEPA state that "[a]ccurate scientific analysis, expert agency comments, and public scrutiny are essential to implementing NEPA." 40 C.F.R. § 1500.1.

Indeed, CEQ regulations require that the Service hold a public hearing or meeting "whenever appropriate," taking into account factors such as "substantial environmental controversy concerning the proposed action or substantial interest in holding the hearing." 40 C.F.R. § 1506.6(c)(1).

I have a long standing interest in the protection of Pine Rocklands and their endangered and threatened species.

I have also have carefully followed years of additional requests for more Pine Rockland Protection.
For example, in 2014, the Center for Biological Diversity, South Florida Wildlands Association, Tropical Audubon Society, Miami Blue Chapter of the North American Butterfly Association and Miami Pine Rocklands Coalition petitioned the Service to list the Miami tiger beetle, one of the species impacted by the incidental take permit, as endangered.

Additionally, as the result of a settlement agreement reached between the Center for Biological Diversity and the Service in 2011, the Service listed the Florida bonneted bat as endangered in 2013 ; listed as endangered and designated critical habitat for the Bartram's scrub-hairstreak butterfly and Florida leafwing butterfly in 2014 ; and listed as endangered and designated critical habitat for the Carter's small-flowered flax and Florida brickell-bush in 2015. All are species that would be negatively impact by Coral Reef Commons.
I understand there have been more than 14,000 letters to the developer of Coral Reef Commons asking it to protect listed species and not move forward with the project.

Many concerned residents appear to oppose the project and would benefit from the opportunity to attend a public hearing on the application.
It is evident that a substantial environmental controversy concerning the proposed action and a substantial interest in holding the hearing exist.
We hope you will grant the public the opportunity to more fully discuss the impacts of Coral Reef Commons on federal and state endangered and threatened species through a public hearing. I look forward to your reply.

In addition, I'd also like to request the Public Comment Period be extended to 90 days to allow the Public to carefully examine the proposed Coral Reef Commons HCP in light of the more than 3 years the applicants have had to develop it jointly with the FWS.


Monday, February 6, 2017

MPRC February Meeting

February Meeting:

Thursday February 16th
Tropical Audubon "Doc Thomas House"
5530 Sunset Drive, South Miami, Parking around back

Critical February Meeting of the MPRC to highlight continuing discussions between Miami Dade and Miami Wilds Theme Park, we have the documents, we'll discuss what we found.
ALSO, latest developments of Walmart/Coral Reef Commons Developer to bulldoze and pave over imperiled habitat at the former U of Miami South Campus. What are our plans to Save the Pine Rocklands, and what can YOU do NOW to help stop the loss of endangered habitat? Stand with us in our growing fight as we try to ramp-up efforts all the way up to Washington D.C. to "Save it, Don't Pave it".

Sunday, January 8, 2017

New Year / Renewed Efforts

New Year, New Renewed Effort to save our last 1.5% of local Pine Rocklands from being turned into a strip mall, high-density housing and amusement park.
Please join us on January 12th at our Tropical Audubon Partner's Doc Thomas House in South Miami at Sunset and SW 55th avenue.

Is Miami Dade getting ready to sign a deal with a local developer to begin plans for a massive amusement park in an endangered habitat?

PLUS Learn about our Jan.21 Field Trip to a South Dade Pine Rocklands that's normally CLOSED to the Public.

2017 could decide if the Remaining Richmond Pine Rocklands are allowed to be bulldozed, paved-over and developed into more traffic/life-hoking urban sprawl or restored for the dozens of endangered/rare plants and animals there.

NOW is NOT the time to slow down with our preservation efforts.

Al Sunshine
Miami Pine Rocklands Coalition, Inc.
Florida Non-Profit, 501(c) 3

Monday, October 31, 2016

Help restore Coral Reef Park's pine rockland preserve, community service hours opportunity.


The Miami Pine Rocklands Coalition is joining Palmetto Bay in restoring the Pine Rocklands habitat at Coral Reef Park. Everyone is welcome to join.

Saturday, November 5 at 9:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Coral Reef Park
7895 SW 152nd St, Palmetto Bay, Florida 33157

Are you a student and in need of community service hours or just looking to volunteer in helping us restore a Pine Rockland Preserve area?

This clean-up includes removal of debris, loose clippings and removal of any invasive species of plants inside the park's Pine Rockland Preserve area.

To volunteer please register online at or click on the registration link below: