Marathon settles citation with private island owners who bulldozed nature without permit

MARATHON, Fla. – Officials in the Florida Keys settled with the owners of West Fanny Key, an island on the bayside of Marathon, after bulldozing native trees and vegetation that were home to birds and other wildlife without permits.

According to the citation’s settlement agreement, the property owners, David and Tammy Marabella, will have to provide six trees per each of the trees removed.

George Garrett, Marathon’s city manager, said the Marabellas are willing to restore the island, but they didn’t offer an explanation as to why the unpermitted work was done.

“What it really gets down to for us is the fact that they will be restoring the island, and the fact we will end up restoring some other areas in the city of Marathon,” Garrett said.

In late September, area residents reported there was heavy equipment off Fanny Key, and snapped photos of the work being done.

According to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the agency was investigating any possible environmental damage that may have occurred.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission was also involved in the case.

Several attempts to reach The Marabellas went unanswered. Records show they own a residential property in California.

On Friday, a man who answered David Marabella’s cell phone said he had no comment and referred all inquiries to his attorney who also did not provide a comment in time for this story’s deadline.

Read the agreement


About the Author:

Janine Stanwood joined Local 10 News in February 2004 as an assignment editor. She is now a general assignment reporter. Before moving to South Florida from her Washington home, Janine was the senior legislative correspondent for a United States senator on Capitol Hill.