The Miami International Boat Show took another important step forward Tuesday with county approval for the in-water portion of the the 2016 show.
The Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners voted 8-1 Tuesday to issue a Miami-Dade Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources (RER) Class 1 Special Events permit to the show. The commissioners had previously delayed a vote on the issue.
Last Friday, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection also issued a state-required environmental permit to the show, which is run by the National Marine Manufacturers Association.
“Approval of these two permits not only reinforces our long-standing commitment to working closely with all environmental agencies to ensure we meet requirements and continue respecting the environment, but it also allows us to preserve thousands of Miami-Dade jobs and millions of dollars in economic activity for the State of Florida,” said NMMA president Thom Dammrich. “We are proud to continue our promise to be good neighbors at our new home at Miami Marine Stadium Park and Basin for what will be a celebration of the Miami boating lifestyle.”
The show, scheduled for Feb. 11-16, 2016, is moving to Miami Marine Stadium Park & Basin because of renovations at its traditional home at the Miami Beach Convention Center. The city of Miami is supporting the move, but the neighboring village of Key Biscayne has voiced concerns about increased traffic and other issues. The village has also filed lawsuits against both the city of Miami and the National Marine Manufacturers Association attempting to block the show.
The permits cover the show's in-water portions, including docks, water taxi routes and other on-water construction and operations. The show still needs its final approval from the Army Corps of Engineers, but show organizers said they expect to receive that in the coming weeks.
Show staff said they have taken several steps to ensure that it meets environmental standards and protects local waterways, including
- Ensuring that a minimum 3-foot draft is maintained beneath boats and docks to provide ample clearance of the sea bottom
- Ensuring that speed zones, such as No Wake Zones, are posted and enforced by Miami Marine Patrol throughout the site;
- Ensuring that the experienced licensed captains operating boats moving in and out of the Boat Show acknowledge and adhere to proper navigation rules
- Using 100 percent EPA-compliant temporary floating docks that will be removed following the conclusion of the Show
“On behalf of the Florida boating community, the 100,000 boaters who attend the boat show each year, and the entire marine industry that depends on the boat show for its annual sales, we appreciate the support of the Miami-Dade County Commission and the comprehensive work and dedication of Miami-Dade County Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources in approving our permit,” said Cathy Rick-Joule, Director of the Miami International Boat Show. “We’re also grateful to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for issuing our state permit. At its core, the recreational boating industry is all about enjoying the outdoors, and we will proudly continue our decades-long record of respecting the environment.”