Save Wetlands from Invasive Bike Path Project

Florida Everglades wetlands

Target: Mark Heinicke, Project Manager for ROGG, Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces

Goal: Stop a 75-mile bike path from destroying fragile wetland habitat.

A delicate wetland habitat is in danger of destruction by a development project proposing to create a bike path that will cut through this treasured and protected area. This project will cost millions of dollars to construct and put stress on an already suffering ecosystem that is home to a variety of endangered plant and animal life. We must speak up now to protect this natural area from such an invasive development project.

Known as the River of Grass Greenway (ROGG), this bike path will run from Naples, Florida to Miami, Florida. The environmental footprint of the ROGG is bigger than just the path itself. The path will be 12 to 14 feet wide and will involve the construction of levees, boardwalks, and bridges as well as require the action of dredging the wetlands and redirecting naturally flowing water sources. To accommodate bikers and walkers on the path, parking lots, rest stops, and bathroom facilities will also have to be built. This influx of development and human activity will disturb the lives of wildlife and destroy native vegetation.

The path’s route will run through six parks, forests, preserves, and wildlife refuges, undermining years of restoration efforts in the Florida Everglades. Protected and endangered wildlife such as the Florida panther, wood stork, bald eagle, indigo snake, spoonbill bird, and snail kite will suffer from this path that will bisect natural habitat and cause noise pollution from construction and human intrusion.

The Everglades already have hundreds of trails for walking, biking, and horseback riding. There is no need to interrupt more of this beautiful wetland with an unnecessary paved path that will destroy natural land and cut through tribal grounds and sacred sites. By signing this petititon, you are demanding that the ROGG Project Manager dismiss this project for the sake of preserving wetland habitat.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Project Manager Heinicke,

The region of the Florida Everglades is a fragile ecosystem that is crucial for a variety of plant and wildlife. The River of Grass Greenway threatens this delicate habitat through the construction and implementation of this costly bike path.

The paved path will demolish natural land and disturb wildlife through noise pollution. If you approve this project, it will undermine all the efforts put forth to preserve and save these suffering wetlands. This 75-mile bike path will not only cut through precious habitat but also tribal lands, burial sites, and the sacred grounds of the Miccosuke, Seminole, and Simanolee people. There is no need for this recreational path. It does more harm than good and, therefore, I am urging you to please dismiss this project.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Robert Engberg

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