Soon tourists and locals will be able to have more fun in the water after the completion of the Miami Beach Blueways Master Plan. Led by the City’s Parks and Recreation Department, the goal is to connect people to water at convenient locations and allow for a variety of aquatic recreational amenities and activities. The plan was created by designers from EDSA, with the city’s and public input, and is tremendous in its scope and depth.
Specifically in North Beach, the plan would include the creation of small parks utilizing street ends that have access to the water. Many areas have been targeted in North Beach that include Crespi Bridge Pocket Park and Launch; Parkview Island Waterfront Park, Launch and Dock; Normandy Shores Park and Dock; North Beach Police Sub-Station Park and Launch; Brittany Bay Park Launch and Dock; and Mangrove habitats. The plan would also affect a variety of street end pocket parks, waterfront parks and waterfront open spaces in North Beach, as well as Mid Beach and South Beach. The plan includes pedestrian/bicycle connections, breakwater elements, seawall alternatives, boat docks, kayak/SUP launches and motorized water transportation.
In June and August of 2014, the City organized community meetings where residents, business owners, and stakeholders shared their ideas. The goal was for city officials to understand the needs and desires of the community, identify key issues, and receive recommendations. Questions regarding access to the water, wildlife issues, and leaving a positive environmental impact were all brought up as areas of concern at the community meetings. Below are some key points that were highlighted in the plan.
Key Components to Plan
One objective is to increase waterborne transportation in a variety of areas on the beach. Currently, there is only one waterway service from Bayside to Miami Beach. The plan would expand this amenity to include multiple locations. The ultimate goal would be to increase waterborne transportation, decrease traffic congestion, and help create a greener environment that allows for interaction with the surrounding water.
The addition of non-motorized launches throughout the community was also discussed in the plan, which would create a special added amenity. These launches would utilize existing parks and open spaces in both residential and tourist areas in innovative ways.
The inclusion of living shorelines were discussed in the proposal as well. This component can help with erosion and ensure that plant material improve water quality while providing small aquatic habitats. The plan also hopes to include Mangroves that will serve as a first line of defense during times of high winds/waves and a habitat for life.
The plan also seeks to expand marina opportunities, redesign boat ramps to discourage pedestrian use for kayak/SUP users, and expand boating facilities to include restrooms and showers.
Navigation studies of the waterways were included as well as assessments of the sea walls, bulkheads and retaining walls.
Now that the master plan has been completed, the design is taken to various governmental and enforcement agencies for review. After agency approvals have been obtained and funding in place, projects typically enter detailed design phases where the construction process begins.
Currently there are a few funding opportunities available for implementation of the plan, which include private/public partnerships that could be considered for the Eco-tourism/recreational aspects of the plan. Additionally, federal and state grants can fund different components of the plan like the transportation portion. It is important to note that master plans are fully encompassing wish lists and the final product may look very different depending on funding. Stay tuned for more as the Blueways Master Plan develops.Subscribe to Our Newsletter
Article Written by: Danny Diaz August 3rd, 2015