Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Opposition to Richmond Pine Rocklands’ Development Galvanizes

 Opposition to Richmond Pine Rocklands’ Development Galvanizes 

Miami Pine Rocklands Coalition Elect Leaders Who Vow to Save Some of World’s Rarest Forest Habitat from Bulldozers

May 20, 2015 – Miami, Florida – The Miami Pine Rocklands Coalition, a broad coalition of scientists, elected officials, business leaders, and environmentalists, met this week and elected a Board of Directors in their continuing efforts to protect the environmentally sensitive Richmond Pine Rocklands, from out of town developers hoping to bulldoze and pave it over for proposed Commercial, Residential and Theme Park Developments.

The new Board of Directors is as follows:

President Al Sunshine: Retired Investigative Reporter and Digital Journalist who celebrated 40 years in local and network broadcasting based out of South Florida. 

Vice President Maria Belen Valladares: Former legislative aide to the Florida House of Representatives, co-founder and vice-president of Floridians in Action, public insurance adjuster and realtor with Realty World South Florida.

Treasurer Carla Bernabei-Talarico CPA: Retired Miami Beach city manager and owns her own accounting and tax preparation business. 

Secretary Zac Cosner: UM student, former Eagle Scout and Volunteer with the Tropical Audubon Society, who has made notable contributions to the Coalition. 

Member-at-Large William “Cully” Waggoner:  The Coalition’s researcher, a customer-relations professional and Social Media/ Marketing Expert.

Al Sunshine said, “ The Coalition has already successfully blocked declaring the globally imperiled habitat a “blighted slum”, by helping make the community aware that much of the Richmond Pine Rocklands Federally Protected under the US Endangered Species Act as home to more than a dozen rare and endangered plant and animal species.  This election sends a clear message to the developers that the community does not want these projects and the Miami Pine Rocklands Coalition is organized, galvanized, and committed to preserving the entire tract.”

The group’s efforts have resulted in Miami Dade County requesting a voluntary halt to the proposed “Coral Reef Commons” development. Several key Miami Dade Lawmakers including Mayor Carlos Gimenez have asked the Governor and the State Legislature to acquire the critically endangered habitat through “Amendment 1” funding.

The Miami Pine Rocklands Coalition, a Registered Florida Non-Profit Corporation, includes partnerships with several Local and National Environmental Groups including the Tropical Audubon Society, Center for Biodiversity, Sierra Club-Miami Unit and South Florida Wildlands Association. Its’ partners have initiated several petitions with an estimated 90,000 signatures nationally calling for the Richmond Pine Rocklands to be preserved and restored for future generations to enjoy.

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For more information, contact Gerry Tiziani at 305-232-1795,

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