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Miami show organizers gain environmental permit

The Miami International Boat Show received the federal approval needed to move ahead with plans to relocate.

The Miami International Boat Show received the federal approval needed to move ahead with plans to relocate to the Miami Marine Stadium Park and Basin despite fierce opposition from a neighboring village during every step of the way.

The Army Corps of Engineers issued the final environmental permit needed on Dec. 28, giving the show clearance from federal, state and county regulators to move forward.

As a result, docks were delivered and unloaded on Dec. 30 and 31, and were being installed Monday, said the National Marine Manufacturers Association, which runs the show.

The final approval means the show will be ready in time for opening day, organizers said in an email.

“We’re thrilled that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has issued our third and final environmental permit, and we look forward to welcoming boating enthusiasts from across the globe, as well as all of our exhibitors, to Miami in February,” NMMA boat shows vice president Cathy Rick-Joule said in a statement emailed to Trade Only Today.

“As we have for the past 30 years, we will operate the show with respect for the environment and in compliance with all local, state and federal requirements,” Rick-Joule said. “We are grateful for all of the support we’ve received from the industry, as well as the Miami community, and are excited to celebrate the show with everyone February 11-15.”

Miami-Dade county commissioners deferred a decision in November to issue the county permit necessary for the in-water portion of the show, punting the decision to Dec. 15 in light of ongoing opposition from the neighboring village of Key Biscayne.

Commissioners ultimately voted to approve the permit 8-1 after more than an hour of testimony from supporters and opponents.

The show received a state-required environmental permit from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection on Dec. 11.

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