Group caught on camera trashing Biscayne National Park, authorities investigating

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Cell phone video from this past Sunday on an island in Biscayne National Park shows a group of litterbugs trashing the protected site after a day of partying on their boats and jet skis.

Local and federal authorities are now investigating.

Nicholas Rey shot the video; he was there with family and friends as it all happened.

“They did not care,” Rey said. “They started tossing all these bags right in the middle of the island, just tossing bag after bag.”

It all happened on a tiny uncharted islet between Soldier Key and Boca Chita Key, on some of the most beautiful waters on southern Biscayne Bay.

“They even went to their boat, grabbed more trash from their boat, took it and dumped it in,” Rey said.

Rey and his family come to the island every weekend and have witnessed trash accumulate more and more every time they come back.

“There was already trash there, so I was already angry, seeing the trash that was already on this island, so when I saw them do it, I was like ‘Wow, these these must be the people that destroyed this beautiful oasis in the middle of the ocean,’” Rey said.

Rey said he didn’t want to confront the litterers and possibly put his family in danger, but they got plenty of videos that they shared with the Miami-Dade police Illegal Dumping Unit (IDU) and National Park Service rangers, including clips that clearly captured vessel IDs.

Police said they know who the suspects are.

“We are currently working with our state and federal partners to levy the most significant penalties against the offenders,” MDPD Director Alfredo “Freddy” Ramirez said in a statement to Local 10 News. “Through preliminary investigations, the IDU believes some of the perpetrators to be repeat offenders. The Miami-Dade Police Department will have zero tolerance towards environmental crimes.”

Rey hopes they are all held accountable.

“They should have to pick up not only their trash but some of the other trash that’s sitting there and guess what? I’ll help them. I’ll help them pick it up,” he said. “If the island gets cleaned up, this is all worth it.”

Since the crime happened in a national park, federal authorities are involved and the suspects could face serious charges and fines.

About the Author:

Louis Aguirre is an Emmy-award winning journalist who anchors weekday newscasts and serves as WPLG Local 10’s Environmental Advocate.