Miami-Dade residents’ petition committee in opposition to the dredging of the Haulover Sandbar

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Dan Rice leads the indictment against a US Army Corps of Engineers project that will exhaust the popular haulover sandbar to replenish nearby Bal Harbor Beach. Dredging is scheduled to begin this summer.

Rice, a U.S. military veteran and entrepreneur, works with Alex Almazan, a South Miami-based attorney with experience in commercial and real estate disputes.

The waist-deep water of the Haulover Sandbar has become a popular destination. They urge residents to join their “Save the Sandbar” petition with Miami-Dade officials.

“We basically want politicians to say we’re taking a break,” said Rice.

The government plans to remove over 100,000 cubic feet of sand to deal with erosion on the public beach. Rice and Almazan argue that the county is already buying some sand and could buy the rest instead of getting rid of the sandbar.

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“There has to be an economic study on it,” said Rice, adding that the county is trying to save $ 2.7 million but no one knows what the cost will be.

Jose Vega, a Venezuelan-American business owner, is glad that Rice and Almazan have stepped up to lead efforts against the project. He and his family run a popular grocery boat that regularly sails in the Haulover Sandbar.

Officials refer to it as maintenance dredging and say it will take about half a decade for the sand to slowly build up again in the area. Vega, Rice and Almazan hope it doesn’t come to that.

“You’re destroying one tourist destination to support another – and robbing Peter to pay Paul – when both could thrive,” Rice said.

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