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‘We need water,’ cry community who live on boats after being cut off from land – but officials insist they’re right

A BOATING community has called out city officials after being cut off from land nearby, claiming the area is where they get necessary food and water supplies...READ THE FULL ORIGINAL ARTICLE HERE▶▶

In Miami Beach, Florida, residents who live full-time in their boats are protesting a move from officials that cut off their access to a dock that’s necessary for living essentials.

A Miami Beach boat-dwelling community has protested a key dock closure
A Miami Beach boat-dwelling community has protested a key dock closure
The group of almost 100 boaters claim their access to food and water has been cut off
The group of almost 100 boaters claim their access to food and water has been cut off

The uproar started after a video from one of the boaters was released on Tuesday, which showed Miami Beach city employees and police placing a concrete barrier in front of the dock’s entrance, per The Miami Herald.

They also seemingly took the plastic dock walkway away, leaving only its wooden support beams.

A sign was also placed outside the area by city employees that read: “NO TRESPASSING. DOCK PERMANENTLY CLOSED.”

Over a dozen people who live on sea vessels near the dock took to the area to chant “We need water,” among other requests, and held up signs demanding their access be reinstated.

The decision to close it down was reportedly made on December 13, with the Miami Beach City Commission holding a vote and getting unanimous support for the dock’s closure.

Shutting down the dock came after a push from Commissioner David Suarez, according to The Miami Herald.

City spokesperson Melissa Berthier confirmed to the outlet that, due to the vote, the dock would be indefinitely closed — despite the demands from those living in boats in the nearby Collins Canal.

“The city is following the direction given at the Dec. 13 commission meeting to remove the dock on Dade Blvd. near Michigan Ave.,” Berthier said.

“The dock is permanently closed and will be removed after the city obtains the required [county] permits.

“No trespassing signage has also been placed,” she added.

The city spokesperson continued that Miami Beach officials also did not need a permit to remove the plastic dock.

Even so, the dock is across the street from a Publix — the one store location around 100 boat dwellers have supposedly relied on for some time.

Boat residents claim they would frequently anchor to the dock and get what they needed or to a public seawall next to it before getting necessities.

Others argued they have jobs in Miami Beach they’d now not have access to.

Carlos Leon moved into a 41-foot sailboat in 2020 with his wife Jana and their dog and claims the boaters are essentially being evicted.

If [Suarez] cuts our food and water supply and we can’t get to land, then we can’t work, and he is kicking us out,” Leon claimed in a statement to The Miami Herald.

Micah Plummer, another boat dweller in the area, echoed: “There’s no other option.”

Some of the live-aboard boaters noted there is another option to dock about a half-of-a-mile away from the Publix at a public boat ramp — but it has a 20-minute docking limit.

For many, that’s not an adequate time limit to gather the groceries they need.

Suggestions from some of the boaters were fees or permits to dock in the area instead of having it be closed completely.

Plummer argued that city officials are frustrated about boats dumping sewage in the water or making excessive noise and reportedly hold the dwellers responsible.

“We’re kind of like the easy scapegoat to say, ‘Oh, these people don’t look great, their boats look trashy, let’s attack them,’” he claimed.

“We’re easy, low-hanging fruit.”

Suarez did note at the December 13 meeting that he was looking for “creative ways” to dissuade people from living on boats in Miami Beach.

I’m going to try to limit the amount of access of the people who live on these boats that come to the mainland,” he said, according to The Miami Herald.

“They can’t live on a boat forever.”

He added: “They have to come to the mainland to get food, water, and necessary supplies.”

Suarez has previously cited environmental and “illegal conduct” concerns about boats in Collins Canal and Sunset Harbour.

Several of the protestors’ signs on Tuesday called out the commissioner directly.

“David Suarez don’t cut our access to food and water,” one read.

“Disabled residents need access to this dock,” another pleaded.

The U.S. Sun has contacted Commissioner Suarez for an official comment on the dock closure and the protestors’ claims.

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Kylian Walterlin

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