As part of The Canoe Project’s mission to shed some light on Miami’s forgotten waterways, I spoke to Pamela Sweeney, a bona fide expert on Miami’s canal system and the Biscayne Bay. Sweeney is the Manager of the Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserve.
If you’ve spent time at South Pointe Park in Miami Beach, you might have noticed the steady stream of cruise and cargo ships going in and out of Port Miami. These hulking ships are one of the signature images of South Florida.
All of these ships are driven in and out of the port by a highly trained group of sea captains, also known as harbor pilots. Harbor pilots know the waters around the port well–they have to be able to draw a map from memory as part of their qualifications.
A sign at Biscayne National Park shows a photo of younger Lloyd Miller shaking President Lyndon B. Johnson’s hand.
Credit Sammy Mack
Environmentalist Lloyd Miller stands in front of a sign that shows a picture of himself at Biscayne National Park.
Credit Sammy Mack
Park ranger Gary Bremen stands next to Spite Highway in Islandia.
Credit Courtesy of Florida State Archives
Gov. Farris Bryant and his cabinet members listen to engineer Reginald Waters in a meeting at the Capitol office. Chart shows the proposed improvement Dade County has in mind for the offshore city of Islandia and the submerged land in the area. (1961)
Fifty years ago, developers dreamed of turning a collection of isolated islands in the middle of Biscayne Bay into a resort destination. This year, the dream of Islandia quietly died. The Miami-Dade County Commission stripped Islandia’s status as a city. In essence, they voted Islandia out of existence.
The city of Islandia is on Elliot Key. It was never populated by more than a hundred people. Now the only people who live in Islandia are park rangers.
Inspired by the peerless film Sahara (starring Matthew McConaughey and Penelope Cruz), listenerMichael Laas wondered about the treasure hunting possibilities in Biscayne Bay. He submitted his question to us.
There are forty known shipwrecks in Biscayne Bay and hundreds more in the Keys. Under the Sun producer, Sammy Mack, found out more about what lies beneath these attractive, but dangerous waters.