Manatee boat races a bad idea, as Miami discovered

March 18, 2014 

Whoa! Wait a minute. Now you guys are going to fast track the approval of powerboat races on the Manatee River?

In the 1950s, the city of Miami decided to host powerboat races. They couldn't figure out how to have the races in some natural, untouched-by-mankind, body of water. So they destroyed many acres of mangrove habitat in order to carve out a race course.

Then they built a stadium for the folks to watch these insane boats skipping on the edge of disaster at every turn.By the mid-1970s the city officially decided to sublet the pit area to a private entity in order to develop a marina. I know this because the guy who got the contract with the city hired me to start the marina.

You see what happened is that that powerboat enthusiasm faded into non-existence, and the city, because it had not kept up with any maintenance on the building, inevitably was forced to shut it down to avoid potential looming lawsuits.

How can we tell the world that we are stewards of nature here in Manatee County, while at the same time approving an activity which will bring such an affront to our senses?

Not only will our air and our water become more polluted, but the thought of props ripping through the body of a manatee makes me shiver.

It is their property. What's to prevent them from filing a class lawsuit?

Let the people decide.

Jaime Canfield


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