Outside of Everglades National Park, the lush habitat provided by pine rockland forest is becoming increasingly rare in south Florida.
Due to urban sprawl and relentless development, this type of habitat has been reduced to just 2 percent of its original amount. And last month the University of Miami sold 88 acres of this rare habitat to Ram Realty Services — a developer with plans to build yet another strip mall full of chains like Walmart, Chili's and Chick-fil-A.
We can't let this happen. This land is special; it provides some of the last remaining acres for rare and imperiled plants and wildlife like the Florida bonneted bat, Bartram's scrub-hairstreak and two other butterflies awaiting Endangered Species Act protection.
Take action — tell Ram we don't need another Walmart. What we need is for our native species to thrive without the constant threat of losing their homes.
I am writing with serious concern about the proposed construction of Coral Reef Commons. I don't support this project, and I find it darkly ironic and tragic that the proposed strip mall would be named after a biodiversity hotspot -- even as it destroys some of the last remaining pine rockland forest in south Florida.
The truth is, I care more about Florida's native species than the "opportunity" to visit yet another chain store. And Florida bonneted bats as well as the area's other imperiled butterfly and plant species are more important to Florida's natural heritage than Walmarts and Chick-fil-A restaurants ever could be.
[Your comments here]
If this project goes through, I will not shop at any of the stores and will encourage others not to do so either. Instead of plowing some of the state's last contiguous pine rocklands, and then greenwashing that destruction by conserving just a few acres, I urge you to stop plans to build and instead preserve this land in perpetuity. Some of our state's rarest species are depending on that choice for their survival.
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